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II. The New Strategic Planning Process

A new strategic planning process is underway at University of the Pacific. It will engage a broad cross-section of the University community, including external stakeholders and friends of Pacific. We will develop a new strategic plan that gives Pacific more options and is more resilient to external changes, supported by a corresponding financial plan, school-level plans, and an implementation and assessment framework.

This new Strategic Planning Process is building on the ongoing strategic planning which the deans have been leading within the schools. The new strategic plan will also address promising cross-cutting opportunities that span disciplines and school boundaries.

Pacific completed its last strategic planning process nearly five years ago. In April 2007, the Board of Regents approved Pacific Rising, which charted a course for the University's next seven years. So the natural question is: Why do we need to embark on a fresh strategic planning effort now, before the planning period and actions cited in Pacific Rising have run their course? To answer this question, consider how dramatically conditions across the globe and right here in California have changed since 2007.

Over the last several years the United States and much of the global economy has been in the grip of a severe economic recession. The State of California has been hit especially hard. Over the next decade, education's affordability and value will be important as never before. New competitors and fresh alternatives to traditional higher education are likely to emerge. Also possible are shifts in the job market, the research environment, and the context for entrepreneurial activity. In these conditions, the University must craft strategies that allow us to stay nimble, flexible and resilient while also keeping our core values intact.

We also need to consider new opportunities. One of the most compelling reasons for a fresh round of strategic thinking is the need to successfully compete for excellent students, leveraging the portfolio of possibilities provided by expanding operations in San Francisco, Sacramento, internationally, and online. It is conceivable that a mapping of the University's "footprint" could look very different in ten years.

It is time to reshape and refine University of the Pacific's mission, vision and strategies in the context of 2011 and beyond. Faculty, administration, staff, students and alumni will launch a new round of genuine strategic thinking and planning on September 24, 2011, with the Strategic Planning Symposium.

Descriptions of the program for this symposium and the basic architecture of the strategic planning process can be found at Futures Symposium.

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Next: III. The Framework and Structure for the Strategic Planning Process