The United States has always prided itself in its strong academic research funding, and this was what attracted the steady flow of international students each year since the peak years of 2010-2011, but of the 62 American universities in Times Higher Education ranking of 2017, in the top 200, 29 have dropped considerably since 2016. You may also see IT strategy plan templates.
Academic Strategic Plan Template
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Oxford retained its top spot with Cambridge earning a second place from being fourth in 2016. Half of the top 200 list were European schools with the Netherlands, Germany and the UK having the most representation. Was the sudden drop in these rankings because of the political turmoil alone, or is the United States higher education system experiencing a crisis, the likes of which has not been predicted and nobody has prepared for? You may also see research strategic plans.
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What issues surround the American academe these days? What can be done to address them and earn back the pride of being consistent in academic excellence, above other countries? After all, this is America. And what of the American dream if our academic institutions aren’t as capable in providing the kind of academic excellence to its students, that it has always been known for? You may also see HR strategic plans.
The times, they are changing
More than fifty years later, Bob Dylan is still right. The times, they are indeed a-changin’. These are hard times for the system, and as the demand for internationalization increases, it also became a key part in running a university, raising the question of whether or not the institution for higher learning in the country would indeed be able to respond to the rise of new challenges it has to face. You may also see strategic sales plans.
Although it is usually used in business operations, strategic planning is often suggested as an answer to this crying need. It is seen as an integral tool for a more organized, logical, and systematic method in making necessary changes possible for a university’s institutional direction and improvement of its daily operations.
Taking on values and principles that inspired the founders of institutions to contribute in the society’s pursuit of knowledge and learning, from Ivy League to state-funded colleges, implementing a well-developed strategic plan is a matter of conviction, determination, and commitment for every professor, director, staff or dean. It has to happen today, more than ever.
Only by assuming this responsibility will a university be able to achieve higher goals through strategic planning. Higher education in the country is facing adverse challenges, from declining birth rate to the students’ fear of being burdened with student loans, tuition fee increase and poverty on top of state and local funding cutbacks added to the decrease of international students because of immigration issues.
Even non-profit sample and scholarship grants aren’t helping much, as the nation continues to demand and expect more of its colleges and universities. The stakeholders also continue to expect greater things; the students themselves, states and communities, supporters and even the government aren’t about to give up on what the academe can still offer despite its challenges.
Academic Strategic Planning
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The times, they are challenging
It becomes more evident that for a university to keep performing as expected, it needs to have strategies in place, mapped out in at least 3 years’ worth of implementing objectives from the plan its authorities will have to a device. Whether it is in improving teaching methods, research or immersion in community service, institutions of higher education are expected to deliver, make use of new technologies and address the newfound needs using more innovative, efficient strategies. They are expected to do all these while preserving traditions and do the tried, proven and true, even better. It leaves educators with a massive cloud of doubt and disruption where there was once stability. You may also see school strategic planning templates.
The complexity with which these challenges have posted along with environmental change should be pushing institutions to aim for continued success, sustainability, service, and security. There has never been a more perfect time for the importance of effective strategic planning in colleges and universities, yet at the same time, planning for strategies is seen by academic leaders as mediocre at best, ineffective and a woeful attempt at trying to privatize the institution and profit from what they think will be a sure failure at worst.
As it appears, the success of sample strategic planning efforts for higher education will be up to its members, and before planning happens, everyone involved should first have the proper training and education about how to do it so that they would be willing at the very least to address the challenges faced by today’s academic community.
Mind Your Expectations
Coming up with strategies that would serve the academe and its stakeholders is very tricky. For strategic planning to be effective, it must serve as a guide on how the institution implement changes and responds to the challenges it is facing and would be facing. Strategic plans have a way of becoming part of an office’s archived documents, left ignored and buried along with old records, resulting into nothing more than just another “at least we did something” among leaders and faculty members and it could be largely attributed to wrong expectations about strategic plans. You may also see free strategic plan templates.
They’re not your typical to-do-list or action plans for performance improvement. This is why it gets abandoned and this is why it is so much harder in these rapidly changing times for the higher institution to create tangible blueprints about its future. And the future of long-term plans for long-term success is unlikely something we’ll get to see, so we’re back to square one and return to the ad hoc way of decision-making.
Institutions have a choice. If leaders, staff, faculty members and other educators change how they view the strategic planning process, then the strategic plan they can do together can become an effective tool to face challenging times. For example, the record of the plan or the document itself doesn’t have to be re-emphasized. Instead, the emphasis should be removed and any expectations about its content have to be changed, with the focus on new ideas and a strong strategy—the strategy itself, needs to be at its core. Having the most conceptualized, detail-ridden long-range plans can no longer compete with the standard idea or concept for change with what the higher education system has actually embraced. You may also see hospital strategic plans.
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A Strategy Is a Story
Where there’s a good strategy, there’s a good story, because a strategy when built well, is really more of a story. It’s a story about the institution—what it is about, why it’s there, and how it plans to thrive and continue standing and serving the academe and those who are in pursuit of education and knowledge. It is a success story, and it should, therefore, tell what it means to win and how it plans to keep on winning. It is a story everybody in the organization understands and remember because at the end of the day it is the only kind of narrative that the students would care about.
You wouldn’t be able to draw them with too many facts retold. They would learn and appreciate a strategy more if they have a story to tie it with, providing them a context they can relate to, about the knowledge they possess. In the same sense, the institution leaders and his team of educators along with the staff, won’t really be interested in a long list of objectives. They would appreciate and engage themselves more with a story of how the institution will soar heights. You may also see personal strategic plans
Only a strategy written and developed as a narrative or story would help define success in a realistic way. As any good story, however, it needs to have a plot that builds. The simpler it is, the more chances it would have of being remembered. A strategy that clearly defines and explains how an institution will continue to thrive, is more inspiring and more easily remembered than a very ambitious sophisticated one that fails to involve the people and loses its purpose.