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Strategic Planning Process


Framing The Strategic Vision

The planning process for this strategic plan began with an examination of the existing SPHTM 2013 strategic plan and the Dean's initial conversations with individuals from all areas of the school and with the Provost. This provided a picture for the new dean of the path taken and helped frame his strategic vision for the future direction for the School. 


Phase 1 Data Collection and Environmental Scan -- July 2018 - February 2019

In the summer of 2018, the Dean assembled task force groups to investigate and address immediate concerns. The data gathered by these groups would, in part, inform the environmental scan for the school. 

In August 2018, the Dean conducted a work satisfaction and climate survey to full-time faculty and staff. Findings were instrumental in informing the environmental scan. 

Other sources of internal/external data examined for the environmental scan included financial reports, admissions/enrollment data, assessment findings and use of results prepared for the 2017 CEPH self-study, and a comparative analysis by Ernst & Young (2018 Parthenon Report).


Phase 2 Communication and Feedback -- October 2018 - April 2019

Faculty, staff, and student feedback helped establish an evidence-based approach with which to prioritize areas of strategic focus. 

Task force groups conducted targeted surveys, interviews, and focus groups related to their respective charges. Those task force groups who have completed or have made progress towards their goals have reported findings to the Dean, which have informed the current plan.

Feedback from the faculty climate survey were assembled and presented in an overview to those attending the Faculty Retreat in October 2018. Faculty were invited to provide additional feedback at that time.

In response to findings from the staff climate survey, the first SPHTM Staff Retreat was held in October of 2018. 92 staff members attended. They reviewed the survey findings and produced a formal response to the Dean that defined areas of strategic focus for the School, key goals within those focus area and recommended objectives to achieve those goals.

The “SPHTM Staff Report on Strategic Areas of Focus and Recommendations” was presented to the Dean in December 2018. In response, the Dean conducted the first Staff Town hall, at which staff were invited to continue the dialogue on strategic priorities for the School. 

In the fall of 2018, the Dean assembled a Strategic Planning Steering Committee, representing stakeholder groups from across the academic and functional areas of the School. They have been instrumental in establishing the feedback loop between those constituent groups and strategic leadership. 


Phase 3 Analysis of Data and Decision-Making -- Fall 2018 - May 2019

The work commissioned for the task force groups included analyses and reporting on specific areas of immediate concern. Their work has been ongoing and occurring in parallel with the Steering Committee's process. 

  • Student Enrollment and Recruitment
  • Budget and Finance
  • Communications
  • Distance Learning
  • Dean’s Office Evaluation

In February 2019, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee reviewed the 2013 SPHTM strategic plan, findings from the commissioned Parthenon Report, the faculty and staff climate surveys, findings and recommendations from the staff retreat and the task force groups. The committee members also brought discipline-specific knowledge of trends and best practices to the discussion, all of which contributed to a comprehensive SWOT analysis and list of external threats, internal strengths, external opportunities, and internal weaknesses (see pg. xx). These topic areas were further condensed and prioritized using a nominal voting technique. There were several outcomes of this process. 

First, the SWOT revealed 4 overarching questions that required further investigation. At the February meeting, the Steering Committee was divided into 4 groups, each of which explored one of the 4 questions, gathering additional data required to understand these areas more fully. Those questions were:

  1. What academic programs and research topic areas do we need to develop in order to advance TSPHTM?
  2. What is the quality of the student experience at TSPHTM and what should we do to optimize it?
  3. What is the most optimal alignment of academic departments for TSHPTM?
  4. How do we make the BSPH program an asset for our graduate degree programs? Are there other partnerships that we should develop (other universities, undergraduate programs at TU)?

For the Committee's 3rd session in April 2019, the 4 groups presented reports of their investigations, which helped clarify the strategic goals and objectives in this document. 

Also, because these internal and external forces have bearing on the direction of the School and the priorities of stakeholder groups, the Committee agreed to re-examine our mission, vision, and values. These are key components of the strategic plan. Ultimately, the strategic direction and priorities must align with those components. At the Steering Committee’s April retreat, and in collaborative discussions that followed, the mission statement, vision, and value statements were revised to achieve that alignment and to better represent what we do, who we are, where we’re going, and those we serve.  


Phase 4 Producing and Communicating the Plan

In May, 2019, the Steering Committee met for their final session to review the structure of the plan presented in this document and determine next steps for communication. The Committee agreed to hold a town hall in June, the following month, for all faculty, staff and students, aware that the summer schedule might prohibit some from attending in person. The town hall will be recorded and streamed live for those who wish to attend remotely. In addition, the strategic plan will be presented early in the fall 2019 semester, to executive faculty, the advisory board, SGA, SPHTM staff, and again for students in a dedicated town hall meeting. Dates, times and locations will be announced through the Tidewater Times and weekly SPHTM calendars. 
Further information about the strategic plan and the implementation of the plan will be announced in the Tidewater Times and posted on the internal webpages, under the tag line: "A Culture of Shared Success."

The strategic goals outlined in this plan synthesize a depth and breadth of input from faculty, staff, students, external and internal sources of critical data. They reflect an ambitious, yet visionary transformation in how we will work together and what our work will look like. This plan is inspired by our legacy and possible through the extraordinary resilience, knowledge, and expertise of those who work and learn here. We are good at what we do.