Assessment, Accreditation and Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning at Western Illinois University

Higher Values in Higher Education

Western Illinois University’s current strategic plan, Higher Values in Higher Education, contains four strategic goals for the university to achieve: Academic Excellence, Education Opportunity, Personal Growth, and Social Responsibility. All areas within the university are expected to align their initiatives to these goals. WIU’s annual reporting process completed by all departments serves as a way to define initiatives and document progress towards these strategic goals.

What is a Strategic Plan and Why is it Important?

Strategic Planning is a deliberate process that seeks to document what an institution or a distinct area of the institution is, what it strives to be, what it will do to reach those goals, and why these goals and actions are important.

A good strategic plan that is rooted in the vision, mission and values can serve as guide for both day-to-day and long-term decision-making. In many ways, the planning process itself is just as important as the document or plan that is produced. If a university department is interested in strategic planning but isn’t sure where to begin, below are simple steps to get started.

  1. Communicate the process, purpose and who will be involved.
  2. Conduct an environmental scan.
  3. Conduct a full SWOT analysis through a process that seeks feedback from all stakeholders.
  4. Prioritize what the institution wants to accomplish.
  5. Write the plan as an outline with measurable goals and with the intention that available resources, including money, time and personnel, will need to be focused on the goals and actions listed.
  6. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Seek approval and/or endorsements from all stakeholders. Make changes as necessary before implementation.
  7. Measure the outcomes and modify the goals as necessary.

If your area is embarking on a strategic planning process and would like the Office of Assessment, Accreditation and Strategic Planning to help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at