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Strategic Planning Process

Wecota Hall


In 2011, as SDSU’s previous strategic plan was concluding, the university embarked on a “Year of Enlightenment” to begin the process of formulating a new strategic plan. The objectives were to better understand the national climate for higher education and to listen to a diverse group of stakeholders in order to assess SDSU’s strengths, opportunities, challenges and threats.

To gain a national perspective, two experts were invited to campus for meetings and presentations. Bob Berdahl, president emeritus of the Association of American Universities and of the University of California at Berkley discussed “The Future of Higher Education.” R. Michael Tanner, vice president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and former provost of the University of Illinois at Chicago presented “An Environmental Scan of Agents, Forces and Factors Impacting Higher Education.”

As those presentations concluded, President David L. Chicoine appointed a strategic planning Leadership Council in January, 2012. Their charge was to serve as the steering committee for the planning process and provide overarching leadership to the development of the university’s next five-year strategic plan.

Spring semester, 2012 was a time of listening and learning. Campuswide meetings were held in each department and unit to learn more about their missions, current status and ideas for the future. In addition, listening and dialogue sessions focused on thirteen critical topic areas were held on campus to elicit as much input as possible from faculty, staff and students. Statewide meetings also were held to solicit ideas and suggestions from constituents, alumni and other stakeholders. A deep and rich information base was developed from these meetings, forming the foundation for the emerging strategic plan.

In June 2012, after nearly six months of listening and information-gathering, the Leadership Council selected Pappas Consulting Group Inc. to serve as a consultant to the university in analyzing that information and developing the strategic plan.

Fall 2012 saw the initial drafts of the emerging plan which were circulated for review and welcomed feedback for refinements. In December 2012, a recommended plan titled IMPACT 2018 was submitted to President Chicoine for approval.

This site shares the planning process and information gathered throughout the process that led to the creation of IMPACT 2018: A Strategic Vision for South Dakota State University.