A strategic plan connects an institution’s mission and vision to its priorities, aligns the work among its people (faculty, staff, and the board), and guides the development of its resources and facilities – all through a purposeful yet flexible system of evaluation, decision-making, and action.
Strategic planning is a process that defines an organization’s goals and the actions needed to accomplish them, usually over a three-to-five-year period. Here is an informative article about strategic planning.
MICA needs to have a strategic plan in place in order to:
- Carry out our institutional mission, vision, tenets, and values
- Comply with mandates and regulations of our accrediting bodies
- Ensure our educational relevance, operational effectiveness, fiscal health, and community wellbeing, now and into the future
Almost all colleges and universities have strategic plans that are at least three-to-five-years in scope, or are in a planning process between plans. Effective strategic planning is required by accrediting bodies (in MICA’s case, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and National Association of Schools of Art and Design) because it demonstrates institutional commitment to principled operation and thoughtful self-improvement.
MICA's last strategic plan sunset in 2020. Productive planning work with wide campus participation took place from 2018 to 2020. If not disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic beginning in early 2020, that planning process would have yielded a strategic plan for 2021-2026. The updated Plan will now cover 2022-2027.
The volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of our times make it imperative for us to engage in thoughtful, adaptive, and bold planning if we are to thrive in the post-pandemic future. Effective strategic planning will produce near-term results, as well as long-term outcomes.
No. A strong Strategic Planning Framework – with one institutional goal and four themes – was developed in 2019 and early 2020 through a highly inclusive and participatory process, and it remains valid for the updated Plan. That campus community input shaped a set of draft objectives and foci, which will now be re-examined and revised as needed.
When the pandemic hit with full force in March 2020, our strategic planning was necessarily put on hiatus, but the work of the campus community gave us a solid foundation to build on.
The administration is mindful and realistic about the campus community’s capacity to undertake another big project. In consideration of how much is on everyone’s plate, the current strategic planning effort will be streamlined with the goal to meaningfully engage campus members without forcing a lot of additional work on everyone.
Broad and deep input from faculty, staff, students, and trustees is essential. All MICA campus members will have multiple opportunities (through surveys, pan-college convenings, and meetings, etc.) to participate during the coming weeks and months. Other key MICA stakeholders such as alumni, parents, donors, and trusted partners will be consulted in the planning process as well.
In Spring 2022, a Planning Process Advisory Group – consisting of the President, select vice presidents, faculty (including a Faculty Executive Committee leader), staff (including a Staff Empowerment Council leader), Student Voice Association leader(s), and a trustee – will be formed to guide the planning process as the 2018-2020 Strategic Planning HUB did in pre-pandemic times.
All campus members will be strongly encouraged to provide input for this important planning work. However, individual members can choose to participate to the degree as they see fit.
For area leaders whose input is required, their participation in the strategic planning process will dovetail as much as possible with their existing meeting structures and ongoing planning work. Extra meetings will be kept at a minimum.
For focused plan drafting work over Summer and early Fall 2022, a number of compensated positions will be developed to represent the faculty, staff, and students. These positions, selected by application, will engage selected campus members who are interested in doing the planning work and representing their constituencies. The application process and selection criteria will be developed by the Planning Process Advisory Group in Spring 2022.
The inclusive planning process is designed to solicit many voices to shape one coherent plan. To ensure the success of the planning process, there are defined roles and duties for the following groups and individuals:
- Planning Process Guidance = Planning Process Advisory Group, a multi-constituency group that include administration, faculty, staff, student, and trustee members
- Primary Input & Feedback Providers = Campus Community (faculty, staff, students, trustees)
- Additional Input & Feedback Providers = Extended family (e.g., alumni, donors, parents) and key external stakeholders (e.g., institutional partners, neighbors)
- Plan Drafting Team = A multi-constituency Summer/Early Fall Plan Drafting Workgroup and President’s Council
- Chief Editors = President and Provost
- Process Coordination & Logistical Support = President, Executive Assistant to the President, Director of Strategic Projects
- Final Approval Authority = Board of Trustees
The strategic planning process officially re-launches in February 2022. The goal is to bring the formal plan to a close in Fall 2022 to become the MICA official 2022-2027 Strategic Plan.
While a strong foundation for this effort already exists, the updated strategic planning work will include some reassessment and reimagination by the MICA community. Faculty, staff, students, trustees, and other key MICA stakeholders will be invited to offer input from February-May 2022.
After collecting community input over the Spring 2022 semester, there will be focused strategic plan drafting work by a multi-constituency team over the Summer and into early Fall 2022. In September, the campus community will review and comment upon the final strategic plan draft in an open process.
The final Plan draft, informed by community input, will be presented to the Board of Trustees on October 21, 2022. Once adopted by the Board of Trustees, the Plan will serve as MICA’s roadmap for institutional development over the next five years, guiding the College through its bicentennial celebration in 2026.
A more detailed timeline can be viewed here.
The 2022-2027 Strategic Plan (“Plan”) will identify the budget needed for initiatives that are not already supported or that require additional support. A comprehensive fundraising campaign is being planned on a parallel course and will raise the necessary financial resources to support the priorities in the Plan.
A diverse and aspirational community like MICA’s naturally has many things that its constituents could do and would like to do. The Plan prioritizes and organizes the College’s work into a finite set of projects and initiatives that are most significant, achievable, and critical to MICA as a creative and academic community. The Plan transparently unites and focuses actions across MICA with a one-team understanding.
With a commitment to diligent and effective implementation, the Plan observes the SMART principles:
It is a living plan that will be monitored, evaluated, and adjusted annually.
The finalized 2022-2027 Strategic Plan will be properly designed to reflect MICA’s artistic nature and will be presented in a variety of user-friendly formats. The look of the Plan is yet to be developed.
The structure of the Plan will follow that of the previous schematic draft. The updated schematic draft will serve as a working basis to restart the planning process; it can be accessed here .
Specific, transformational commitments embraced by the MICA community were incorporated into the 2021-2026 schematic plan draft for institutional action. Some key examples are:
- Adaptability and innovation
- One-MICA team workplace and culture
- DEIG (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Globalization); and
- Shared governance.
All have informed MICA actions even when the planning process went into hiatus between March 2020 and end of 2021. Some notable strategic planning-related progress to date includes:
- Planning and imminent launch of a fundraising campaign to build institutional capacity
- Relaunch of Human Resources as People, Belonging & Culture
- Ongoing work of shared governance building at MICA
- Development of actions for a DEIG-Driven and Safe MICA such as an online complaints platform, the building of an Organizational Ombuds System, full scholarships for Baltimore ADCAP students, etc.
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