- Administrative calendar
- CALS21 process
- Strategic plan
- CALS governance
- CALS history
- CALS homepage
- Communications from the Dean
- Contact us
- Dean's Office homepage
- Faculty workload guidelines
- Promotion and reviews
- Search options
CALS 2010 Planning Background Summary
This summary describes how we developed the 2010 CALS strategic plan and why we believe the future will be very different from the past. Links are given to other sources if more detail is desired.
Why Update the 2005 Plan—and What is Different in the 2010 Plan?
Some sections of the 2005 plan were updated, some are similar, and some areas are quite different. There is a new vision, a refinement of the six focus areas, creation of a new "signature focus" and a change in overall approach (less specific goals and more guiding principles). The plan was made smaller by eliminating details such as assumptions and challenges. These relevant details are available in a background document.
Our Planning Process:
Involving Faculty, Staff, Administrators, and Stakeholders
Our planning process built on a number of relevant studies, both internal and external. It soon became clear this plan revision was going to result in a different plan. It would be important to build a plan we could understand and follow and one that was realistic relative to the changing world. Accordingly, we did not try an reinvent the wheel, but instead used the best parts of studies that were well done, modified for our particular situation. We used studies and assessments done by CALS in the last two years as well as reviewing the background material for the 2005 plan. The 2010 plan was also made smaller, including a one-page version, and there were no metrics or goals to be achieved (because of future uncertainties). Rather, we focused on mission, vision, values, focus areas, overall focus, challenges (redefined as strategic directions), and guiding principles for assessments and resource allocation.
Various versions were prepared and reviews were done with administrative units most affected by the changes, including the CALS Executive Council and employee advisory councils (staff, appointed professionals, faculty). We then discussed the plan at an administrative retreat attended by all college administrators, including unit heads and county extension directors. An announcement was placed in the CALS Weekly Bulletin (electronic newsletter sent to all employees) for review and feedback, and a similar announcement was sent to a number of CALS client groups. The final draft was then reviewed by the Dean's Advisory Committee.
Recent College Assessments Used for CALS 2010 Strategic Plan
Environmental Scans, Higher Education Studies, and the Future
All scans and the associated conclusions or identification of specific driving forces give the same general conclusion—the future will be different whether we are talking about world changes or those related to a specific university. However, the specific approaches and formats vary widely and by the mission of the group preparing the scan. The most significant observation for us can be summarized as: changes will be in many areas and significant compared with past years and will affect all parts of society, including universities. We conclude there will be a new normal after the current economic crisis runs its course. We have to discover what that is and how we will modify our programs and approaches to fit the "new normal."
Scenarios are useful when the future is complex and unclear, so they are especially useful at the time of preparation of the 2010 CALS Strategic Plan. This section has scenarios about higher education for Arizona examples or for other locations. Reading scenarios not only stimulates your thinking about future possibilities, it also raises questions that should be answered when preparing a strategic plan.
There are a number of relevant studies done by groups within Arizona in the last 10 years or so that are useful to planning. Some of these are directed at higher education, some at research areas for university involvement, and some address potential changes in the state that will affect all institutions.
Building on Previous CALS Strategic Plans and Plans of Other Universities
Planning materials were used from the following institutions: CALS 2005-2009 Plan, Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Arizona Board of Regents, University of California (including its Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources), University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, and Clemson University.