The Strategic Planning System
Throughout the summer of 2004, the comprehensive system quickly
began to take shape. The Vice President of Learning Services, the
Learning Services Deans, the Vice President of College Services,
the Director of Grants, Planning and Institutional Research, and
available faculty members drafted philosophy statements that
embraced the learning college model and provided the unifying
principles on which the new system would be built.
SVCC has always utilized committees and recognized that a good
committee structure was a key element for providing systematic
opportunities for the widest staff involvement and for movement
toward a sense of shared governance. Based on the conceptual
foundation provided by the Organizational Planning and Improvement
System Chart, the responsibilities of the existing committees were
reviewed and the gaps and overlaps in duties and responsibilities
were identified. Duties and responsibilities were redefined and
regrouped, and a new committee structure was formed.
At the August 2004 in-service, the new committee structure and
planning system were proposed to the entire SVCC staff. Flow charts
and tables were used to display committee relationships,
information flow, and operations.
The task force of faculty and administrators who worked during
the summer was then expanded with the purpose of coordinating the
committee functions and establishing the timelines for completion
of committee responsibilities. They invited comments and concerns
from faculty and staff after the in-service presentation and
modified the system as appropriate. The most significant
modification made was to change the central focus of the
Organizational Planning and Improvement System Chart from â€œStudent
Learningâ€ to â€œQuality Learning.â€
The strategic planning process is a function of the committee
structure, and it, too, supports quality learning. Planning is not
just an administrative function, but rather a function and
responsibility shared by all employees through their involvement on
committees and in their respective departments.
The committees are structured to gain widespread employee
involvement and to enhance communication among committees.
Particular attention was given to eliminating the â€œsilosâ€ in which
previous committees operated, as committees now include crossover
members from other committees. The new committee structure has
increased collaboration throughout the College, involved more
people in decision making, expanded the sense of shared governance
within the institution, and now contributes more broad-based input
into strategic planning.
The comprehensive committee
structure contains both standing and special focus committees.
There are seven standing committees with a total of over 100 total
committee seats. The standing committees address broad areas of
responsibility and are designed to be active participants in the
Collegeâ€™s shared governance and strategic planning process. In
addition to the standing committees, there are an additional 15
special focus committees with approximately 130 members. Each
special focus committee exists to address a narrowly defined area,
such as the bookstore or sabbatical leave, and meets only as
needed. Combined, the two types of committees provide ample
opportunity for employee involvement and input, and also assures a
high degree of communication and coordination among the committees
since many committees have overlapping membership. The inclusion of
staff from all areas of the College and students from the student
body yields diversity in insights; this should benefit students,
the community, and the institution.
In early September, the new structure was ready for
implementation. Committee members were tentatively determined
during the in-service day, prior to the start of the fall semester
2004. Final committee membership was rounded out as the committee
charges were finalized and distributed. Meeting schedules were
determined and committees began their work.