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Policy 4103
Strategic Alliances

Date of Current Revision: December 2010
Responsible Officer: Associate Vice President, University Planning and Analysis


This policy is intended to foster the development of strategic alliances at JMU and to integrate the accounting for strategic alliances into the university's regular planning process.


The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6; 23-9.2:3. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.


Strategic Alliance:
Sometimes called "cooperative strategies," strategic alliances represent the middle ground in the continuum of partnerships. They exist between the more loosely constructed tactical partnerships such as conventional outsourcing and service arrangements on the one hand - often referred to as transactional alliances - and the more formal and permanent route of mergers on the other.

For the purposes of this policy, a strategic alliance is defined as a relationship between James Madison University and another organization(s) (e.g., business, governmental body, foundation and/or other educational institution) that meets all of the following criteria:

  1. The alliance must be formalized in writing. In general, the format should be contractual and stipulate the objectives and responsibilities of each party.
  2. The purpose or objective of the alliance must be critical to the core mission of each party.
  3. The alliance should focus on attaining each party's long-range goals. Consequently, the term of the alliance must be strategic in breadth and represent a commitment of at least five years.
  4. The goals and methods of the alliance must be fully supported at the level of the president and the president's senior management team.
  5. Each party must be committed to a common strategy and set of objectives. The parties must also be willing to share their core competencies to build synergy.

Examples of objectives that could be met through strategic partnerships include (but are not limited to):

  • Maximizing new revenues,
  • Providing alternative learning experiences for students (i.e., internships, visiting faculty, etc.),
  • Increasing international student experiences,
  • Providing enhanced student support services,
  • Developing new academic programs,
  • Providing enhanced professional development for faculty and staff,
  • Communicating the JMU message to external audiences, and
  • Providing new and/or improved facilities.


This policy applies to the university's senior management and those they delegate in the process of developing strategic alliances.


JMU will develop new strategic partnerships that enhance the university's programs and ensure success in meeting goals and objectives. The judicious use of strategic alliances offers a means for meeting the challenges of a changing environment and of achieving an even higher level of programmatic excellence.


Senior vice presidents or those whom they delegate will submit a Strategic Alliance Report for each alliance within their purview and send the report to the AVP for University Planning & Analysis by October 1 of each year.

The AVP for University Planning & Analysis will collate the changes, create a draft final report and send it to the the president and senior vice presidents during the fall semester to review the submissions. Once the President and senior vice presidents have approved the report, it will be published via the Strategic Alliances Website.


Senior vice presidents are responsible for establishing the overall emphasis on the development of strategic alliances within their divisions. Their more specific responsibilities include the preparation of annual goals and objectives regarding the creation of new strategic alliances and the communication of those goals and objectives to all appropriate levels of the division. Senior vice presidents are also responsible for the annual reporting process within their divisions.

The Associate Vice President for University Planning & Analysis is primarily responsible for the annual reporting process. This includes managing the Strategic Alliances Website, issuing a call to the senior vice presidents and those they delegated for the completed reports, presenting a summary of the reports to the president and senior vice presidents, and completing the annual report documenting the status of strategic alliances at JMU.

Those who are appointed by their senior vice presidents as responsible for reporting strategic alliances will update existing alliances and report new ones using the Strategic Alliances Website by the appropriate deadlines.






The President has the authority to interpret this policy, which is normally delegated to the Associate Vice President for University Planning and Analysis.

Previous Version: December 2008
Approved by the President: July 2002

Index Terms

Strategic Alliances