Strategic Planning in Higher Education – Best Practices and Benchmarking

In this report, Hanover Research examines best practices followed by institutions of higher education when setting strategic goals and developing plans for implementation. In our review, we focus on strategies for building broad support, ensuring effective implementation, and budgeting and financial planning. In addition, we profile the strategic plans and procedures of specific institutions and identify common trends in their planning processes, goals and initiatives, and implementation and monitoring methods.

This report examines best practices in strategic planning at higher education institutions and profiles the strategic plans and planning processes in place at five specific institutions. The discussion has been informed by three areas of concern common to many higher education institutions: the need to manage changing funding models, the need to seek more sustainable support from key constituents, and the need to improve student recruitment and retention.

The report comprises the following two sections:


Develop Strategic Planning At Your Institution

Today, just about every higher education institution has embraced periodically developing and updating a strategic plan. Much of this can be credited to statewide mandates and accreditation but, regardless of where the encouragement incited, campus leaders and faculty are increasingly in agreement that a working strategic plan is important to a working institution.

Sanaghan, P., and Mary Hinton. “Be Strategic on Strategic Planning.” Inside Higher Ed, 2013 p. 1

Strategic Planning Involves

Formulating Goals, Objectives, and Action Steps

Monitoring Implementation and Tracking Progress

Revising The Plan

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