Strategic Planning Roles for IR Professionals

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James Trainer, Villanova University


Intended Audience/Prerequisites:
No specific prerequisite knowledge, experience, or expertise required. 
Strategic planning efforts and opportunities abound on college and university campuses at the institutional, school, division, program and unit levels. Strategic planning seems to happen everywhere. It is one of those things that seemingly anyone can do. However, truly effective strategic planning requires a specific skill set and disciplined, rigorous, detailed work. Institutional Research professionals can be uniquely positioned and qualified to contribute in important ways to strategic planning efforts. Building on skills that hopefully come somewhat natural to us, this session with help IR professionals develop tools and techniques that will enable them to participate in and, perhaps, take a leadership role in all phases of the strategic planning process, including: assessing readiness for planning; planning to plan; gathering, managing and analyzing data and information for strategic purposes; making strategic choices; setting goals and developing plans; implementing plans; and, monitoring success.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
This interactive workshop will focus on the important role Institutional Research professionals can play in the strategic planning process, beginning with the initial phases of assessing an organization's readiness for planning and 'planning to plan,' through data and information gathering and analysis, goal identification and plan development, and closing with a focus on plan implementation and the monitoring of success. Building on existing research skills and responsibilities, this session will help IR professionals develop and hone important tools and techniques that will enable participants to contribute to the planning processes of their organizations in unique, invaluable ways.