Policies and Procedures Manual

Chapter 5: Personnel

05:06:09   Strategic Planning and Continuous Improvement Process

Measuring the effectiveness of Northeast State is critical to the institution’s future success. And, constantly evaluating the College’s effectiveness provides a method for implementing a continuous improvement program. A well-defined and understandable strategic plan, which is directly related to the College’s vision and mission, is a necessity. To that end, the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) provides guidance for the development of Northeast State’s strategic plan. Each five-year planning cycle begins with the establishment of TBR system-wide priorities and guidelines. Within this framework, each institution develops institutional goals and objectives that support the TBR plan and provide for the fulfillment of the institution’s mission. Northeast State’s strategic plan contains several key elements, including the following items:

  • Vision Statement: Indentifies the aspirations and future direction of the College
  • Mission: Describes the College’s purpose
  • Values: Identifies the values and goals that guide decision making and influence the campus culture
  • Institutional Strategic Goals and Associated Objectives: States the priorities of the College
  • Benchmarks: Establishes outcomes that gauge the institution’s effectiveness in achieving its goals and carrying out its mission

To support the strategic plan, each unit develops annual objectives linking unit priorities to the College’s five-year strategic goals and objectives. Full-time employees also develop individual objectives that support their unit and the College. Achievement of individual objectives is considered as part of the individual’s annual evaluation (See Northeast State Policy 05:06:05, Personnel Evaluations). In addition, the budget process is closely related to the strategic planning and continuous improvement process (See Northeast State Policy 04:03:00, Budget). Requests for funds must be directly linked to one of the College’s goals or objectives for the planning cycle. During the strategic planning/budget process, units also submit technology requests that comprise the annual Information Technology Plan. Specific instructions for the development and assessment of strategic plans, including budget and technology requests, are provided each year in the Strategic Planning/Budget Process Manual.

College units submit the required documents via the College’s online Strategic Planning System and present their plans at the strategic planning/budget reviews held during the spring semester of each fiscal year. The presentations summarize each unit’s:

  • assessment of the extent to which it achieved its current year objectives/expectations,
  • evidence of improvement within the unit based upon the assessment, and
  • objectives/expected outcomes for the upcoming year and associated budget requests.

The Technology Planning and Oversight Committee (See Northeast State Policy 06:45:00) also reviews technology items within these plans and coordinates the planning for and oversight of the implementation of new technological applications. Furthermore, the Strategic Planning Committee has established an oversight/review team for each institutional objective. The oversight/review team reviews the initiatives planned for the institutional objective from a college-wide perspective, looking for gaps and overlaps in specific unit plans. The oversight/review team may then make recommendations for improvement in unit plans relative to the institutional objective, as appropriate.

Information gathered through the strategic planning/budget process is also summarized in the College’s annual progress report, presented to the Strategic Planning Committee in late summer. Based on the discussions, the institutional goals are either reaffirmed or additions or deletions are made. Final determinations regarding changes to institutional goals and associated objectives are made to the president. The Tennessee Board of Regents is the approving authority for the institution’s mission statement.

In addition to the aforementioned process, special assessments are also conducted throughout the year, as needed, to support continuous improvements.

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Divisional Review Responsibilities Checklist: Research Analytics and Planning

Revision History: February 2007, July 2008, January 2012, June 2013