What is Strategic Planning?
Strategic planning is a means of establishing major directions for the university, college/school or department. Through strategic planning, resources are concentrated in a limited number of major directions in order to maximize benefits to stakeholders--those we exist to serve and who are affected by the choices we make. In higher education, those stakeholders include students, employers of graduates, funding agencies, and society, as well as internal stakeholders such as faculty and staff. Strategic planning is a structured approach to anticipating the future and "exploiting the inevitable." The strategic plan should chart the broad course for the entire institution for the next five years. It is a process for ensuring that the budget dollars follow the plan rather than vice versa. Strategic planning is not just a plan for growth and expansion. A strategic plan can and often does guide retrenchment and reallocation.
From "Strategic Planning in the University" (pdf), by Kathleen Paris, Ph.D., OQI Consultant