AACRAO strategic planning update

June 26, 2020
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For the past year the AACRAO Board of Directors has been reviewing the existing foundational documents and the Strategic Plan to prepare for a new strategic planning cycle.

After discussion, the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee recommended to the Board of Directors that the Association should follow the model that AACRAO Consulting teaches when helping an institution develop a Strategic Enrollment Management plan. A strategic plan for an association and a SEM plan may not have the exact same purpose, but the model itself is applicable to strategic planning for almost any organization. 

Review of foundational documents

In September of 2019, the Board renewed the foundational documents of the Association including the  Purpose, Values, Mission, and Vision. The Association Values were revised for clarity and consistency while the Purpose and Mission remained largely unchanged but were retitled to better fit their intent. Those, along with the statement of Ethics and Practice. have been re-organized on the Association’s website to be in a more appropriate order and easily accessible by the membership.

Summer 2020 activities

This summer, two representatives from AACRAO Consulting -- Stan Henderson and Tomikia LeGrande -- will lead the Leadership group, including the Caucus chairs, Professional Activities Committee chairs, Program Committee members, Work Group chairs, and State & Regional Leadership, in an exercise designed to help to help highlight the current issues facing member institutions from the practitioners' perspective.  They are also conducting listening sessions with the Board of Directors and the AACRAO office staff.

Members can also send thoughts, feedback, and suggestions to the consultants here.

"Strategic plans help organizations determine how to best pursue their missions while meeting the changing demands of the environment," LeGrande said. "The dialogue that is generated within organizations during the strategic planning process often feeds future innovation and engagement among stakeholders. Stan and I look forward to helping the Association chart a pathway toward success in this ever changing higher education environment."

"I am passionate about the value of structured, data-informed, measurable strategic planning and the value it brings to institutional services and success.  In my work with colleges and universities, I seek to engage all stakeholders in the process--opportunities for input, feedback, and transparent communication are essential to successful strategic planning," Henderson said. "I am also passionate about AACRAO, and the opportunity to work with Tomikia on this project to help the Association develop a strategic road map for success in whatever the future holds is energizing."
 

The consultants will compile these perspectives for review by the Board of Directors in the September strategic planning meeting. 

Coming in 2021: 10-year plan

The Board will take all of the input from the listening sessions and environmental factors into consideration as they create long-term goals for the Association. As  a professional association, AACRAO's environmental factors are sometimes different than, though often affected by, those factors that impact our individual member institutions. The Board is educating itself to take those issues into consideration as well when determining the strategic direction for the future of AACRAO.  The Board has a firm belief that its responsibility is to set the strategic direction for the Association while empowering the membership and the AACRAO staff to develop supporting strategies and tactics. 

The final work product of this effort will be a Strategic Plan with broad goals to be reviewed on a ten-year planning cycle.  Strategies will be more flexible and reviewed more often while tactics will be fluid enough to react to environmental factors while supporting the strategies and goals.

The Board plans to have this work complete prior to the onboarding of the new Executive Director in 2021. This timing will provide the new Executive Director a firm foundation and direction, allow for a smoother transition, and provide an understanding of how to support the health and growth of our association.

Questions? Contact AACRAO Vice President Tim Amyx.