Back See this section in context: Criterion 2 Core Component 2B
2B.2: Planning Responds to Changing Needs
The Strategic Planning process is becoming an increasingly important part of the college as other processes become directly linked into it. The plan itself is broad and allows a variety of actions to be taken simultaneously throughout the institution, but it does not prevent the college from responding to situations that arise unexpectedly. Sauk has structured its planning processes to be flexible enough to deal with issues that emerge throughout the academic year. Several mechanisms in the planning process allow for the required responsiveness:
- Rolling plan concept: The new strategic planning process was developed to allow Sauk greater flexibility to recognize and adapt to the changing environment through its “rolling” process, which is spelled out in a timeline. The schedule ensures that varying data streams and planning processes are coordinated. The rolling plan allows the college to scan the environment for changes and emerging trends, review institutional progress toward achieving the Strategic Plan, and make adjustments as needed. The goal is to maintain a viable plan that is responsive to the changing environment.
- Operational planning: In an effort to encourage “local” participation in the implementation of the Strategic Plan, every office and academic area participates in the annual operational planning process. As groups report on the status of their previous year’s plan, they are instructed to also note the unplanned activities that came up during the year. This mechanism allows and even encourages individual planning units the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities or to respond to challenges that arise.
- President’s Cabinet (PC): At weekly PC meetings and at monthly Administrative Council meetings, administrators address issues and needs that arise outside of the planning process. For example, in the spring of 2010, the Emergency Preparedness Committee recognized that only contract security officers were on campus during weekend public events. The committee brought a recommendation to PC to hire a Sauk security officer to also be present, which PC approved. The minutes, emailed to the college community and posted on the website, show that PC discusses and resolves issues as they emerge.