The Strategic Directions provide the fundamental structure for all of Sauk's planning processes and budget priorities. Based on congruency to the Mission and Vision Statements, the Board approves the Strategic Goals and Objectives, which have been recommended by OPIC after college-wide input through the strategic planning process. These goals and objectives are broad in scope and pertinent to multiple college functions (Appendix).
In order to ensure the intimate connection between the planning processes and the Strategic Goals, Operational Plan Templates guide each office or academic area to consider all of the Strategic Goals and Objectives during annual planning discussions and forces each planned activity to be linked to a specific Strategic Objective (Appendix). This process results in everyone’s having a role in moving Sauk toward achieving its Vision.
To ensure that each planned activity is aligned with a Strategic Objective and has a measurable outcome, the Dean of Institutional Research and Planning reviews each Operational Plan and requests changes be made if needed. The results of the planned activities are reported at the end of the fiscal year at the same time that next year’s Operational Plans are made. This timing allows conclusions drawn from last year’s planning to influence next year’s planning.
In addition, the college’s full Operational Plan and the end-of-year results are posted for access by the Sauk community in FAST, beginning with the FY10 report. The reported Operational Plan results are also the major source of information for the Sauk’s Annual Report (Appendix), which has become a “status report” on the progress toward achieving the Strategic Goals and Objectives. This report is posted on the website for access by the general public.
The strategic planning system links the component processes of assessment, operational planning, and program review to state-mandated budget deadlines. The strategic planning system also orchestrates a planning feedback loop that is linked with the budget process, as shown in Figure 1i below.
Key to the system is a timeline that coordinates data flow, decision-making, and action (Appendix):