The integrated system Sauk has developed for strategic planning approaches our Vision for it to be a benchmark for other institutions: The Mission and Vision Statements provide direction for the system. The strategic planning procedures keep the institution focused on priorities of strategic importance. Data drawn from various internal and external sources provides our basis for discussion and decision-making. Broad-based involvement in operational planning and cross-institutional involvement in the committee structure contribute to engagement by the whole campus community in the process.
Sauk’s community of employees is self-reflective in a way that we believe is distinct. Because of our regular involvement in the planning process, our opportunity to be involved in various committees, the time set aside for us to meet and discuss or learn from each other, employees on this campus in every job classification tend to be aware of their stake in the future of the institution, to expect and receive information about ongoing issues that face the college as a whole, and to have some input in those issues.
While mindful of our legal obligations to address diversity issues, Sauk’s view of diversity expands beyond mere compliance to recognize the needs of other at-risk groups who need help overcoming barriers to education. Noteworthy examples include the work of the Cross-Cultural Coordinator and the existence on our campus of the Student Support Services program.
Although Sauk has clearly established regular review as an important element in its major planning systems, the self-study discovered that this system element has not yet been extended to employee handbooks. At the beginning of the study process, all were outdated and some were still print versions that were not easily accessible. The self-study committee recommends that a system be put in place to assure that the handbooks are reviewed and updated regularly.
The Human Resources Director presents an institutional orientation to all new employees, and each academic area and office is expected to conduct its own specific orientation as well. The self-study found that not all areas and offices consistently orient new employees to the department or office. The self-study committee recommends that all areas and offices conduct a specific orientation for new employees.
The examination of compliance revealed that although the college provides required training to new employees, it does not consistently meet all of the annual retraining requirements of some legislation. The self-study committee recommends that Sauk identifies the topics that require annual training updates and maintain a regular training schedule.
Opportunities for Growth
The self-study found that some of the information on the Sauk website is outdated. While the college has successfully converted many printed resources to the Internet, it has yet to establish a system to keep the information updated and current. The self-study committee recommends that Sauk initiate a procedure to routinely update or delete information that is outdated.
There has been little marketing done for new programs and special initiatives. The self-study committee recommends that the college consider new and broader marketing approaches.
Although the Sauk slogan is effective in communicating the spirit of the Mission, the self-study committee found little evidence to indicate that any portion of the Strategic Directions is routinely included in printed materials that are distributed to the public or to employees. The self-study committee recommends that appropriate components of the Strategic Directions be included in print materials and posted throughout the campus.