Stephen F. Austin State University

Envision SFA - Planning Process

Envision SFA...

is what we called the five-phase collaborative strategic planning process that informed the development of our SFA Envisioned strategic plan.

Below is the Envision SFA website as it existed during the planning process:

Phase I Phase II Phase III Phase IV Phase V

Collaborative Strategic Planning

The process we will employ over the next several months is termed "collaborative strategic planning." This planning method has been developed by Dr. Patrick Sanaghan as he has shared his expertise on strategic planning, leadership development and facilitation techniques with more than 100 colleges and universities over the past 25 years. This five-phase process is designed to meaningfully engage University stakeholders with the goal of creating a shared future vision for the institution.

Planning Update

Phase 5: Goals Conference - March 6, 2015

Phase Five concluded on March 6 with a day-long Goals Conference. During this workshop, members of the Strategic Planning Team (SPT) were joined by almost 30 colleagues from across the campus representing departments and areas that will have a key role in implementation of the plan that is under development. At the end of the day the group had identified more than 40 potential goals, with 16 of these ranked as top contenders.

Now the President's Cabinet is working with the results of the Goals Conference and refining these aspirations so additional feedback can be gained from the planning team before a draft is presented to the Board of Regents in April.

Here are some pictures of the group during the Goals Conference:

Phase 4: Vision Conference - January 30, 2015

After hearing from more than 2,100 people, surfacing the prevalent themes, and developing concise concept papers on each topic, the SPT hosted a diverse group of internal and external stakeholders on January 30, 2015, for a Vision Conference. The goal of this day-long conference was the creation of a shared vision for a "preferred future." Participants included representatives from the following groups:

During this day-long exercise, the SPT continued to narrow the mass of input we have received into more concise elements that helped us develop as aspirational statement of our preferred future. You can see that Vision Statement here. This Vision Statement will be foundational as we approach the goal-setting phase of planning process.

Here are some pictures of the Strategic Planning Team working with a group of internal and external stakeholders during the Vision Conference on January 30, 2015:

Phases 2 & 3: Engagement and Data-Gathering (Sept. 19 - Nov. 20) / Sense-Making (Nov. 21)

Over a nine week period last fall, the Strategic Planning Team (SPT) engaged with more than 2,100 people (see Timeline and Progress). The purpose of this engagement was to hear what these internal and external stakeholders believed was most important for us to consider as we developed the next strategic plan. A huge amount of input was collected. To manage this, the SPT conducted a day-long "Sense-making Workshop" facilitated by Dr. Pat Sanaghan to identify the themes that were most prevalent so we could focus our efforts.

In broad strokes, six strategic themes emerged. The SPT divided into six writing teams and developed concept papers on each of these themes.

Academic Innovation

SFA Identity

Make/Increase/Strengthen External Connections

Recruiting & Retaining High Quality Faculty and Staff

Transformative Experiences for Students

University Culture

[Note on Concept Papers: The goal was to create an non-academic paper for lay persons that is informative and doesn't try and steer the reader in a specific direction or have an agenda of some kind. It helped translate the data we had received through the engagement and data-gathering process for the participants of the Vision Conference.]