Planning is a process of identifying, recording, and tracking the progression of our organizational goals. To do this, we utilize several planning components at VSU. These components are united with our campus community through the recently developed University Council, which serves as a campus information conduit and an advisory group to the President. The University Council is part of our progression towards a year-round planning process that embraces creativity and collaboration.

Our Planning Components
Our Strategic Plan is the overarching document that captures what we hope to accomplish from a broad perspective. Our planning database assists us in recording and tracking goals, as well as providing a way to request additional funding for goals that your normal operating budgets cannot support. The Master Plan is the document approved through the Board of Regents which outlines our projected campus needs in terms of our physical and functional relationships through 2014. The Budget Plan is approved by Board of Regents for a given fiscal year and includes additional Initiative Requests supported by strategic funds as approved through the Budget Advisory Council (BAC). The Facilities Plan is managed by our recently developed Facilities Planning Advisory group. This group is responsible for managing the work flow of our physical growth; including requests for renovations and space usage changes, as well as implementation Master Plan construction projects. The External Plan refers to the work of the Division of University Advancement, which coordinates alumni outreach, fundraising, and the University Foundation. Each of these components plays a crucial part in our overall planning effort at VSU.

Using the Database
Many people will experience university planning by using our planning database to enter goals, request additional monies, and/or update their progression towards goal completion. New users will want to review the description of our planning model, which explains how goals at every level in the university are related back to our larger Strategic Plan. If you need to know how to enter VP level Goals, Dean/Director level Strategies, or Departmental Action Plans, refer to the Database User’s Guide. If you need to enter a request for funding beyond your normal operating budget in order to accomplish a goal, then refer to the Initiative User’s Guide.

Your Role in Planning
Planning shouldn’t be something an organization does once year. Quite to the contrary, planning is a continuous process. As such, our plans have to be fluid and open to change. We have to think collaboratively and creatively to examine what we really need as an organization and why. We have to be open to partnerships and ready to seize opportunities. Our plan is our guide; our hopes, our vision. But sometimes our visions change, our hopes are expanded, and we need to create new guides to get to different places. Your role in planning at VSU is to participate in this challenging process by setting lofty goals but balancing them with realistic expectations. Envision how you can be a part progress within the university and work to accomplish that within your unit. Remember to document your successes and look for ways to use our existing resources more creatively to accomplish more than we previously imagined!

Future Enhancements
To facilitate continuous planning, we hope to have the database available for on-going online revisions of our goals and initiative requests during this academic calendar year. Ultimately, we are striving to generate your annual report pieces related to planning directly from the database itself, further enhancing the efficiency of data collection and use. Look for email announcements and further explanation here on the planning website regarding these exciting changes!