Higher education
1:02 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

NKU begins work on new strategic plan

Northern Kentucky University is launching a nearly yearlong effort that will result in the next 5-year strategic plan for the institution.  

NKU President Geoffrey Mearns announced the details of the process Friday during a speech to the university community before spring semester classes begin Monday.  

He likened the plan to a roadmap.

“How do we get from where we are today to where we want to be in a certain defined period,” Mearns said.  “The date of 2018 is very significant for us; it’s the culmination of the first 50 years.  So this strategic plan will also be the foundation for the next 50 years of the university.”

The effort will include work groups, forums and surveys of the campus community.

 Mearns said a focal point will be implementation...

“We’ve already begun developing the processes to ensure that we will be in a seamless way, be able to move from the planning phase to the implementation and execution phase,” Mearns said.  “We all have been associated with organizations that do nice plans, but then don’t really use it as a tool to guide us.  We’re not going to make that mistake.  We’re already preparing the implementation phase now even though today is only the beginning of the planning phase.”

Mearns will chair the strategic planning committee, which has 10 members.  Its first meeting was held after the speech Friday morning.  

He said he wants the plan to reflect some of the values he highlighted in his address.  Those include an inclusive, engaging, and vibrant campus community where people care about the success of each other.  It will also focus on educational programs that are responsive to the needs of students and to the employment opportunities in the community.  

Mearns joined NKU in August.  He spent the fall conducting a listening tour involving meetings with faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders.  He also received more than 600 completed surveys.  

That information will help guide the process that's expected to end with an approved plan in November.