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A Brief History of the Strategic Plan

CBU’s strategic plan had its origins in fall 2015, when the consulting company CREDO began meeting with our Board of Trustees and the President’s Cabinet. Based off of this work, CREDO proposed four “Themes” that emerged as crucial focal points if the university is to grow, thrive, and live our mission: People, Transformational Learning, Strategic Growth and Vitality, and Institutional Story. (You can read more about what each of these themes entails by clicking on each theme in the Strategy Vision Map.)

Then, in the spring of 2016, the Strategic Planning Team was formed, which consisted of the president of the university, several vice presidents, faculty members, and staff persons. A campus-wide Community Day was also organized, which enabled all members of the CBU community to generate ideas and input for the plan. The Strategic Planning Team then went to work, seeking to refine objectives for each theme, establish metrics, and shape the initiatives that would enable us to achieve each objective. To begin establishing initiatives, the Planning Team relied on “Theme Teams.” One “Theme Team” was established for each theme, with the membership on each team pulled from various walks of CBU life. The Planning Team worked diligently through the summer of 2016. On October 7, 2016, the Strategy Vision Map received approval from the Board of Trustees.

The work of the Strategic Planning Team was now complete. A smaller group was then formed to steward the plan, and administrative owners were assigned to each theme. The Strategic Plan Steering Committee’s first major task was to decide which initiatives should be prioritized for the first eighteen months of the plan. The Steering Committee then identified one or two “Champions” for each initiative, people who have the expertise and energy to make each initiative a success. The Champions, in turn, convened working committees to outline the steps necessary to achieve the initiative. We refer to these steps as “milestones.” Each milestone has a start date and a completion date. The champions report to the Administrative Owners, who in turn serve on the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee’s task is to monitor progress on milestones, provide support to champions whenever needed, help overcome any impediments to success, retool existing initiatives if necessary, and identify the next set of initiatives to act on as current initiatives wrap up.

Most of the initiatives prioritized for the first eighteen months of the plan were scheduled to wrap up before or around August of 2018. By that time, the Strategic Plan Steering Committee was already identifying a set of phase-two initiatives. As of September 2019, ten of the original initiatives were complete. A few initiatives required continued attention. The Steering Committee identified seven new initiatives and assigned champions to pilot these initiatives to success. These initiatives play vital roles in supporting enrollment growth and student retention. As of March 2020, four of these initiatives are complete. With the arrival of our new president, Mr. Jack Shannon, the Steering Committee will especially be reevaluating the metrics that measure overall success. Enrollment, retention, employee satisfaction, and telling our story as a Lasallian Institution, however, remain front and center as our strategic priorities.

For a general progress update, see the Strategy Vision Map. For a more detailed update, those with a CBU login can view the document, “UPDATED PHASE-TWO Strategic Plan Outline: Initiatives as of February 18, 2020.”