James Madison University desires a strategic planning process that is comprehensive, inclusive, dynamic, accountable, and clearly communicated to all students, faculty, administrators, and staff.
In 1998-99 President Rose formed a Centennial Commission. He charged the commission members to assist him in defining the characteristics that will describe JMU in 2008 and to offer recommendations that he and the JMU Board of Visitors should consider as the university seeks to become the institution the commission envisioned. The commission considered the changes that are occurring in the nation and in higher education as JMU enters the new century and reflected on how JMU's historic and current strengths will guide it into a transformed future.
The commission made the following recommendation about the strategic planning process:
"JMU’s long-range planning process will encourage strategic thinking at all levels of the university and will foster a sense of community through a participatory and mutually-respectful approach to decision-making in which all involved constituencies cooperate and work together to achieve shared goals."
Accordingly, the following aspects of the strategic planning process have been developed and are being implemented.
The following are the definitions of terms used within this document to describe JMU's planning processes. The definitions are offered to clarify possible misunderstandings about the terms.
Annually, the President and division heads review and develop university-wide goals that relate to the Defining Characteristics. These university-wide goals are communicated throughout the divisions. The division heads, their deans/AVPs, and directors develop objectives and action items that relate to the university-wide goals.
The divisions, colleges, and departments use the Planning Database to record university-wide goals, objectives, action items, intended outcomes and evaluation procedures that relate to the Defining Characteristics. These university-wide goals are communicated within each division and among all divisions to eliminate redundancy and encourage collaboration. As needed, the divisions, colleges, and subunits submit budget initiatives for their objectives that relate to the Defining Characteristics and university-wide goals to the Budget Office. Specific expected outcomes are developed for each objective.
The collection of assessment (instructional) and evaluative (non-instructional) information is vital for accountability, program improvement and external reporting.
Assessment and evaluative information for instructional and non-instructional divisions, colleges, and departments is collected annually (annual reporting) and during scheduled program reviews. The results of the annual assessments/evaluation and scheduled program reviews are communicated within the departments and to the appropriate supervisory levels. As needed, recommendations for improvement are developed.
Annually the accomplishment of the university-wide goals and division, college, and department objectives is evaluated, and the results are recorded in the Planning Database. See the annual report from Institutional Research that was generated through the Planning Database. The results are also reported to external agencies as needed for university-wide accountability.
In Fall 2000, the University embarked on an ambitious project to improve the efficiency, comprehensiveness and communication of strategic planning processes. A Web-based Planning Database was developed and implemented in May 2001. The system has since been upgraded. The planning system is used by all academic and administrative units at the university. Access the Planning Database via the Web: https://secureweb.jmu.edu/computing/planning/