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Strategic Planning

Real-Time Strategic Planning
for the Crookston Campus

The strategic planning process begun in 2014 has continued into the current academic year. The planning process is depicted below in a circle to demonstrate the never-ending nature of planning, action, and evaluation that characterizes real-world, real-time strategy.

An update on the strategic initiatives and the planning process was presented at the October 2014 Thursday Commons. Download the PDF version >>>

This website serves as a reference and repository of information on UMC’s strategic planning activities.

Early Conversations

The Executive Committee July 2013 retreat, focused strategic enrollment management, resulted in a two-part strategy:

  1. Achieve and maintain a critical mass on campus.

  2. Continue to grow strategically online.

The Strategic Enrollment Management Committee (SEMC) was created in October 2013 to provide guidance in executing the strategy.

Ongoing conversations in Executive Committee and Cabinet led to a decision to embark on a broader strategic planning process using Real-Time Strategic Planning (RTSP), a model developed by David LaPiana to help non-profit organizations develop greater strategic capacity and respond in “real time” to opportunities and challenges as they arise.


Framework Documents

The Executive Committee, along with other members of the UMC community, spent several weeks drafting three key documents (PDF):

  1. Future Business Model
  2. Institutional Identity Statement
  3. Strategy Screen

Big Questions

During a retreat in January 2014, the expanded Executive Committee, considered a number of UMC’s current opportunities and challenges and formulated three “Big Questions” (as they are called in RTSP) around the following three themes:

  1. How can UMC achieve and maintain a critical mass of students on campus, while also growing strategically online?

  2. How can UMC galvanize support and nurture a culture of philanthropy among external and internal constituencies?

  3. How can UMC become known as a “go to” resource for the local community, region, state, country, and beyond?

During the retreat, three working groups formed around these Big Questions began working on possible next steps and action plans.


Working Groups

The three teams have continued to meet to further develop and refine their ideas. The group focused on strategic enrollment management has merged with the Strategic Enrollment Management Committee that was formed in Fall 2013. The group focused on galvanizing support and nurturing a culture of philanthropy has become known as the Strategic Philanthropic and Regional Support (SPERS) Committee. The third group, which is addressing the topic of UMC becoming known as a “go to” resource, which took the title of Strategic Excellence Initiatives Team (SIET), focused its efforts on developing UMC as a resource for rural economic development.


Campus-Wide Input

During Spring Semester 2014, UMC faculty, staff, and students provided feedback and input at the Faculty Assembly in February and at the Campus Assembly and Strategic Planning Open Forum in April.



The Communications and Public Relations Office and the Development and Alumni Office have assumed responsibility to advance the SPERS initiative. After broad consultation, UMC is creating a Center for Rural Economic Development that will partner with several organizations to stimulate and grow the entrepreneurial culture and economic vitality of northwest Minnesota and the state. A search will begin soon to hire the first director of the center.

The focus on strategic enrollment management continued during the July 2014 retreat of the Executive Committee and Strategic Planning Leadership Team. Activities that have grown out of the retreat are summarized on the slides from the October 2014 Thursday Commons presentation. Additionally, all UMC departments and units were charged to develop action plans for student recruitment and retention by November 26. The Strategic Enrollment Management Committee (SEMC) and the Strategic Planning Leadership Team will review and analyze the action plans. Metrics by which progress can be measured will be developed.

Additional details on implementation are contained in the slides from the October 2014 Thursday Commons presentation.



Data will be collected at appropriate intervals on the chosen metrics to measure progress and set new targets. More to come.



Past Strategic Planning Resources

View the entire 2010-2012 Strategic Planning archived documents >>>