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Policy 5001
Annual Planning Policy

Date of Current Revision: February 2012
Responsible Officer: Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and University Planning

1. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to outline the annual planning process for the university's administrative units and place the process within the context of the university's mission statement, defining characteristics, visions and goals.

2. AUTHORITY

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.

3. DEFINITIONS

Defining Characteristics:
Statements summarizing the type of institution that the university strives to become.

Mission:
The statement that succinctly defines the ultimate purpose for the university or the administrative unit.

Objectives:
Clear, collaborative (where possible), concise, measurable and specific ways in which administrative units intend to achieve a specific university goal or pursue the administrative unit's mission statement. Some objectives evolve from previous evaluation/assessment efforts.

University Goals:
Goals established by the vice presidents with contributions from administrators, faculty members, staff members and students; these goals collectively describe current initiatives being pursued to achieve the university's mission statement and defining characteristics.

Vision:
The statement accompanying each characteristic that provides a rationale for that characteristic.

4. APPLICABILITY

This policy is applicable to all units outside the division of Academic Affairs.

5. POLICY

One of the university's defining characteristics addresses the university's planning process: The university will involve the entire campus community in a well-defined, consistently used and commonly understood process for planning and decision-making that emphasizes accountability and ties resource allocation to institutional effectiveness.

6. PROCEDURES

6.1 An effective planning process contributes to the identification, achievement and assessment/evaluation, and use of results of the objectives of administrative units.

  • The process should be accountable, clearly communicated to constituents, comprehensive, dynamic and inclusive (providing for broad constituent participation).
  • The process must be repeated annually.
  • The Planning Database shall be used by administrators and staff members designated by the appropriate division head or the executive assistant to the president. The database is the means for completing, reporting, sharing and retaining all aspects of the planning process.

6.2 Mission statement

  • All departments/offices must have a mission statement that along with other accompanying documents identifies what the unit strives to accomplish, the constituencies that the unit serves and the ways in which it relates to the educational role of the university.
  • Mission statements should be concise, periodically updated and developed with input from constituencies.
  • The mission statement will be modified or endorsed on the occasion of each unit's program review.

6.3 Objectives

  • Objectives may span one or more years; however, progress toward objectives must be reported annually.
  • Objectives should state the change or intended outcome when the objective has been attained.
  • Objectives should be clear, concise, measurable and collaborative, where possible. They may evolve from the needs and interests of faculty and staff members in the departments/offices or from students and other constituents.
  • Objectives may be responses to societal changes, recent program reviews and objectives from previous years.

6.4 Steps To Reach Objective (from Planning Database):

  • These steps are the ways in which a department/office seeks to attain an objective. They should be focused, specific and achievable within a year's time.

6.5 Assessment/Evaluation Methods:

  • All objectives must be assessed and evaluated annually to determine whether the desired change or intended outcome has been attained.
  • Assessment is the determination of the extent to which learning has occurred.
  • Evaluation is the determination of the extent to which any other change or intended outcome has occurred.
  • Assessment/evaluation efforts should utilize valid, reliable and multiple methods.

6.6 Objective Accomplishments (Year-end):

  • A summary must be provided about the extent to which the objective has been accomplished. The summary should include the activities and the changes that occurred.

6.7 Use of Assessment/Evaluation Results for Program Improvement:

  • Assessment/evaluation results should influence subsequent year's objectives and future resource allocations.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

Vice presidents are responsible for implementing this policy within their divisions.

Each director or department head is responsible for the day-to-day management of the unit's objectives.

8. SANCTIONS

Employees who violate this policy are subject to discipline commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.

9. EXCLUSIONS

None.

10. INTERPRETATION

The authority to interpret this policy is given to the president, who normally delegates it to the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and University Planning.

Previous version: May, 2010
Approved by the President: April, 2002

Index Terms

Planning Database
Policy
Procedure
Rules
University Policies