Process and Timeline

Bell Green at Luther College

Strategic Planning Process

In Luther College Priorities 2016-2018, we committed to completing a comprehensive strategic plan by 2018. We are beginning this strategic planning process this fall semester and will engage with the Luther College community in the coming months to gather information, identify the key strategies and priorities for Luther, and create a strategic plan to chart the college’s course from 2018 and beyond.

To assist us in this comprehensive strategic planning process, the college has engaged Keeling & Associates (K&A). The college will partner with K&A in the design and facilitation of a consultative and broadly inclusive process of creating our new strategic plan. In this process, the college will be assisted by K&A in work with faculty, staff, and students, as well as the wider Luther College community, to identify the college’s overarching strategy and priorities; define practical goals and objectives in support of those priorities; and develop a feasible, contextually sound implementation plan.

The strategic planning process will engage multiple constituents and provide a variety of opportunities for input and review. The process will be conducted in a transparent and inclusive manner at every stage; balance community-wide input with the vision of the college’s leadership; work within and through established structures and cultures of shared governance; and integrate aspirations and creative designs for the future with the practical fundamentals of educational, pedagogical, administrative, and fiscal feasibility.

Gathering observations, ideas, and suggestions for the strategic plan will require multiple methods, including informal and structured individual and group interviews, online surveys, “idea walls,” and town hall meetings and other large forums; the whole of the process will be iterative, with tentative conclusions and priorities reviewed and affirmed or revised as needed. The Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) representing various constituent groups (faculty, administrators and staff, students, and the Board of Regents) will be assisted by K&A in the work to coordinate information gathering; collate and analyze qualitative and quantitative information and data collected through these intersecting methods; analyze both internal and external challenges and opportunities; and develop successive, iterative versions of draft planning themes for discussion at a strategic planning retreat, tentatively scheduled for late May 2017 (after Commencement). At the conclusion of the retreat, there should be consensus about the main points of overarching strategy, priorities, goals, and objectives for the new plan. K&A will then assist the SPC in refining and finalizing the goals and objectives. Over the summer, the SPC will prepare a draft of these goals and objectives (Luther's "strategic priorities"), to be presented to the community for feedback in late summer/early fall. A finalized version of the new strategic priorities will be presented to the Board of Regents for approval in late October 2017.

Once the strategic plan’s guiding elements—mission, vision, goals, and objectives—have been drafted and refined, an Implementation/Action Planning Group will be assisted by K&A to develop the implementation/action plan, which will consist of narrative and graphic components detailing specific activities, sequencing and timelines, assignments of accountability, estimated costs, intended impact, and assessment methods and metrics for effective implementation of the strategic plan. A near-final version of the complete plan will be ready by December 2017 and presented to the Board of Regents for review and approval at their February 2018 meeting.

Project Activities and Timeline

The following outlines the projected activities and timeline of the planning process:

Phase I: Engagement, information gathering, and planning themes

October 2016-early March 2017

  • Appointment and charge of the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC)
  • Telephone interviews
  • Bi-monthly campus visits for meetings and information gathering through personal and small-group interviews, large open forums and/or “town hall meetings,” and idea walls
  • Online surveys of college constituencies
  • Data and information synthesis and development of preliminary themes
Phase II: Priorities, goals and objectives

Mid-March-Summer 2017

  • Work with the SPC and college leadership to develop and revise planning themes
  • College-wide review and discussion of findings and themes, led by the SPC
  • Strategic planning retreat with the SPC and college leadership (late May)
  • Refinement of draft vision, values, goals, and objectives
  • Preparation of draft of the strategic plan for community review
Phase III: Implementation/action plan completion

Late Summer/Fall 2017

  • Community review of and reflection upon draft goals and objectives
  • Presentation of strategic plan draft for Board of Regents review (October)
  • Appointment and charge of Implementation/Action Planning Group (IPG)
  • Draft and final versions of an implementation/action plan by the IPG
  • Finalization, review with the campus community, and approval of the complete strategic plan by the Board of Regents