Resetting Our Strategic Compass

Drafting Our Three-Year Strategic Plan


The Institutional Planning Leadership Council convened on January 12, 2016 and engaged in a Strategic Planning Retreat. At that time, participants priority-ranked 18 identified topics and initiatives. Subsequent to the retreat, an electronic survey was administered to the membership, and the top five priorities were identified as follows:

  1. Retention
  2. Recruitment
  3. Enrollment
  4. Support Services
  5. Fundraising

Descriptions of Priority Areas

To provide context to the current planning process, these are the descriptions that were used in the 2016 survey through which the participants prioritized the strategic issues for Fairmont State University.  These five areas of focus were described as follows based on input and discussions at the Strategic Planning Retreat in 2016.

  1. Retention – Pursue research, programs, and initiatives to improve the rate of retention among all student populations, including funding/expanding use of assessment surveys and analysis; expand ambassador/mentor programs across campus; pilot and assess first-year initiative; increase practice of appreciative advising and student development programs.
  2. Recruitment – With declining high school enrollments in West Virginia, increase efforts in improving the recruitment of out-of-state and international students with emphasis on the need to increase diversity among the student body.
  3. Enrollment – Increase opportunities for enrollment growth by improving upon or creating strategic partnerships and more effective outreach through relationship building with secondary schools and community colleges, offering bridge programs; credit transfer, articulation, and creative programming.
  4. Support Services – Improve access and increase provision of high quality counseling and advising services to undergraduate and graduate students to address increasing concerns for students’ psychological, emotional, and mental well-being, and to affect positive progress toward on-time degree completion.
  5. Fundraising – Continue strengthening the working relationship between programs and the FSU Foundation Inc. and FSU Alumni Relations staff, in an effort to increase opportunities to solicit and capture endowments, gifts, and special funds for student scholarships, program enhancement, faculty/student development and enrichment.

Current Planning Process

When the Strategic Planning Oversight Committee met on August 30, 2017, the committee decided to create a Strategic Plan for the next three years which will focus on the top five priority areas identified through the survey conducted in 2016.

Drafting the Plan

Together, we will work to develop this three-year Strategic Plan and to broadly engage the campus community in the planning process in the following ways:

  • Divide the Institutional Planning Leadership Council into seven teams.
  1. Retention
  2. Recruitment
  3. Enrollment
  4. Support Services
  5. Fundraising
  6. Mission and Vision
  7. Reporting, Monitoring and Assessing the Plan
  • Teams 1-5 will be tasked with answering this question: “What can we do, beginning now and looking ahead over the next three years, to improve _____________ in order to move Fairmont State University forward?”
    • To do so, they will:
      • Develop a goal statement;
      • Identify a minimum of three clearly defined, concrete, and innovative initiatives to achieve that goal (in other words, results-oriented strategies);
      • Identify the resources needed to accomplish those initiatives (people, funding, space, technology, etc.)
      • Determine a realistic timeframe for completion of each initiative (i.e. phasing action steps for each initiative).
      • Develop a plan to assess progress toward goal completion.
    • Each team’s work will be supported by information and data most pertinent to their area of focus.
  • Team 6 will work on defining our mission and setting our vision for 2020-21.
  • Team 7 will develop a structure and process for reporting, monitoring and assessing the implementation of the strategic plan, which is intended to enable a successful implementation and also will help create a culture of on-going, continual planning on campus.