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ERIC Number: EJ973534
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-0736-0983
Building an Institution Worthy of Its History: The Evergreen Strategic Plan at Widener University
Allen, Jo; Baker, Joseph J.
Planning for Higher Education, v40 n2 p48-58 Jan-Mar 2012
From its founding as a Quaker school for boys to its evolution into a military school and, ultimately, into the thriving coeducational civilian institution it is today, Widener University has been no stranger to change and transition. It may come as a surprise, therefore, that although it had a mission statement and goals, prior to 2004 the university had never been through an inclusive and meaningful strategic planning process that had serious implications for the future of the institution. In this article, the authors describe Widener's accomplishments in developing and implementing its strategic plan, Vision 2015, as a hallmark of the institution's contemporary culture and a driver of its extraordinary achievements. They first describe the process of developing the strategic plan, then articulate the evolution of the plan's influence as they developed clear links to the budget and supports for assessment, reaccreditation, and, now, a comprehensive campaign. They focus on the mechanisms and processes in place that protect the key features of the plan while also inserting some flexibility for contingencies, greater transparency and inclusion, and opportunities for advancing the institutional mission and vision--all managed as transitions in the evolution of the 10-year strategic plan. In addition, they describe the ongoing assessment of their progress as a critical feature of implementation that also promotes both flexibility and stability. They conclude with lessons learned about managing transitions in the evolving strategic plan and their expectations for what will follow when they close out Vision 2015 and move into a new planning cycle. (Contains 3 figures.)
Society for College and University Planning. 339 East Liberty Street Suite 300, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Tel: 734-998-7832; Fax: 734-998-6532; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania