In practice, the University of Memphis has conducted thorough overall strategic plan
reviews of the vision, mission, goals and strategies in five year cycles. As represented
below, in the last cycle, the President initiated the review and provided general
direction for the plan, input from the University’s colleges and divisions framed
the draft, the various constituencies of the University reviewed and offered revisions
to the draft and the final plan was reviewed and approved by the President’s Council,
the President and eventually TBR. A Strategic Planning Facilitation Committee served as facilitator for that process. It drew on institutional assessments of strengths and weaknesses and Presidential
priorities to create an initial plan draft. The Committee helped lead campus reviews of the draft producing the final plan. The Committee assisted in communicating the plan. The process is presented in Figure 1.
Figure 1: University of Memphis Five-year Planning Cycle
Successful planning requires organizations to remain flexible in their response to
internal and external challenges; therefore, reviews of the plan’s objectives, actions/tactics
and resulting budgets are made annually. The University’s annual planning and budget cycles are represented in Figure 2.
Figure 2: University of Memphis Annual Planning and Budgeting Cycles
In the summer prior to the beginning of the academic/fiscal year, the President and
President’s Council review current year plans and priorities. As a part of that process, they begin to identify the following year’s priorities. Those plans and priorities are presented to the campus in a variety of forums at
the beginning of the Fall semester. The Provost and Vice Presidents present them to Associate and Vice Provosts and Presidents,
Deans and Directors within their respective divisions. The President and Provost present them to the faculty at the Fall Convocation. And members of the President’s Council present them at the fall Administrative Retreat.
Based on that information, by mid-Fall semester, the Divisions begin preparations
for planning for the following academic year. Academic Affairs conducts program reviews in October and November leading to the
proposed following year academic priorities and plans. Those plans are presented to the other Divisions, Deans and representatives from
the campus senates at the end of the Fall semester. Subsequently, the other Divisions
in consultation with Academic Affairs review the interaction of plans and develop
By early spring, all divisions complete their respective following year plans. Those plans shape the budgeting decisions and processes that take place through the
remainder of the Spring semester. Budget requests and reallocations are reviewed and prioritized by the President’s
Council in terms of their alignment and advancement of the university’s strategic
plan before final consideration and decision by the president. Review of results and
progress on the plan occurs through the summer leading up to the President and President’s Council review for the subsequent year.
The Strategic Planning Facilitation Committee plays several roles in bringing planning to the institutional level of the University. The persons who serve on the committee sit at the Associate and Assistant Vice Provost
and President and high-level Directorship levels from each of the Divisions. In those roles, they are leaders in assisting their divisional heads link institutional
plans with planning and assessment within their Divisions by specifying, owning and
reporting on actions and measures for institutional goals and strategies. Committee members provide cross-divisional planning information by participating
in planning sessions with other Divisions. As a link from planning to budgeting, some Committee members are members of the University’s
Budget Work Group, a committee of business officers who are important in creating
and managing Divisional budgets and finances. Finally, through members’ knowledge of institutional and divisional plans, the Committee
is a conduit to assemble and communicate the University’s annual plans. The details of the annual planning, budgeting and communications cycle are presented
in the planning calendar.