Michigan Tech’s strategic planning framework has three major components: the Portrait, the Strategic Plan, and the annual budget. A fourth component, including the Our Values statement and the University Student Learning Goals, provides general principles and characteristics that underlie strategic and tactical planning. These institutional-level planning components must be taken as a group and not individually, and together they set general directions and goals. Units within the University have their own planning that is consistent with the institutional planning. For other cross-cutting areas, there are other groups that work on detailed strategic and implementation plans that, again, are consistent with institutional-level planning. The University Diversity Council, for example, has detailed goals for enrollment and employment of underrepresented groups.
The Portrait describes the general characteristics of the institution at a point several decades in the future. Originally, the Portrait was designed to answer the question of “What is an internationally recognized technological research university?”. The word Portrait was chosen deliberately – it is not a detailed factual description, but more of a general likeness that each viewer can interpret in their own context. Obviously, there are many steps that must be taken over extended time periods to advance toward becoming the institution described in the Portrait. To increase enrollment, we must address multiple issues that evolve over time – regional housing availability and local transportation, for example, must evolve to be able to support future enrollment goals. The Portrait is revised periodically to reflect our changing environment and context.
The Strategic Plan describes the priorities for the next five years that must be addressed in order to advance toward the Portrait. The Plan is revised every three years, so it is a living document and it is never ‘completed’. It does provide more detail to guide Unit-level planning, but does not contain detailed implementation plans. Those can be found in more detailed Unit-level plans and plans that address cross-cutting areas (such as Diversity as discussed above).
The Annual Budget process is very involved, but includes priorities for new funding, and also reallocation of existing funds. These initiatives occur at both the institutional and the unit levels, and generally emerge from units based on their goals and objectives. Institutional priorities generally address cross-cutting areas that cover multiple administrative units.
The University Dashboard tracks the four major University Metrics (Endowment Value, Sponsored Program Awards, PhD Graduates, and Incoming Freshman High School GPA). For each of these there are drill-downs to the College/School and Department levels. In addition, the Strategic Planning web site has links to more detailed metrics, such as those related to Diversity and Online Learning.