Strategic Plan

College of Business Strategic Plan

Experience Business


The Northern Michigan University (NMU) Strategic Plan is an active management plan that will guide the College of Business (COB) in its operations into the future. The construction of the plan involved collection of data and input from faculty, students, alumni and supporters. The college collected information over a three-year period (2013-2016) to discern the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that exist on the landscape of higher education.

The Strategic Plan

The strategic plan builds a strategy to create the future. This strategy answers three basic questions best postulated by John W. Myrna in his book, The Chemistry of Strategy[i]: “What do you want the future to look like? Why do you want the future? How do you get there?” 
The “what” is the vision of the college 20 to 30 years from 2017, the “why” is the result of the SWOT analysis that clarifies the environment that higher education has evolved, and the “what” determines the mission and the strategies both short and long term to achieve the objectives.

College of Business SWOT – (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)


  1. AACSB accreditation – since 2002

  2. Small class size – average less than 30 students per class

  3. Full-time highly-qualified faculty (98% of instruction by regular faculty)

  4. Technologically advanced university – laptop and Wi-Fi (now LTE) since 1997

  5. Freshmen advised by central advising. Declared COB majors advised by full-time faculty.

  6. Safe environment with abundant recreational opportunities – world class recreation


  1. No college of business building – classes, labs, faculty and students dispersed across campus

  2. No online or hybrid programs

  3. Career planning/job placement is centralized and weak

  4. Demand for MBA program is limited by face-to-face format


  1. Younger faculty composition

  2. Digital undergraduate and MBA curriculum plans

  3. State funding, alumni and philanthropic donations

  4. Development of relations with business, high schools and community partners

  5. International opportunities for students and faculty


  1. Other universities – public and private

  2. Online schools

  3. For-profit schools

  4. Student demographics

The NMU College of Business has the talent, skill, technology and desire to evolve into a leader in business education. This will ensure that students at the college will receive excellent preparation to launch their careers and lives.

David Rayome speaks with a student at the New Business Venture Competition

Vision: The NMU College of Business will be an internationally recognized leader in business education.

Why? Higher education is changing at a rapid pace. Innovative leaders will accrue assets and laggards will further decline in purpose and the value. The NMU College of Business will develop the skills, assets, and technology to become a recognized leader in business education. This vision also leverages the vision of the university “Northern Michigan University will become the University of Choice in the Midwest for students seeking a quality academic program with individualized attention in a high-tech learning environment.”

Mission: The NMU College of Business prepares graduates for successful and responsible engagement in business and society. Experiential learning and entrepreneurship are hallmarks of the college.

The mission of the university “Northern Michigan University challenges its students and employees to think independently and critically, develop lifelong learning habits, acquire career skills, embrace diversity and become productive citizens in the regional and global community,” also creates a starting point for the mission of the college. The more successful the college can be in accomplishing this mission, the closer the college comes to fulfilling the vision.

Core Values:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Social and Sustainable Responsibility
  • Technology
  • Global Perspective
  • Relationship Building

The Core Values are the foundation of the College of Business. The derivation of the Core Values are from the competencies contained in College of Business curriculum. The core values of the college also support the core values of the university.

The design of the College of Business Strategic Plan moves the college in the direction of the vision. This is a broadly defined long-term vision. As the action plans are executed, measurable goals accomplished, and strategies completed, the accomplishment of the mission will bring the vision into clearer focus in the years ahead. The completion of action strategies in one to five years lead to measurable goals. The accomplishment of the action strategies, over time, will fulfill the strategies in the future. The completion of the strategies will aid the college in the delivery of its mission as it moves towards the vision.

Strategic Goals

  1. Academic Excellence

  1. Program Enrollment
  2. Scholarly Activities
  3. AACSB Accreditation
  4. Teaching and Advising
  5. Curriculum Review

  1. Student Success

  1. Student Retention and Progression
  2. Employment and Graduate School Rates
  3. Experiential Activities for Students

  1. Domestic and Global Outreach and Engagement

  1. Digital Delivery (Pedagogy)
  2. Student Outreach
  3. International Partnerships

  1. Investment and Innovation

  1. Scholarships
  2. Business Innovation Center
  3. Alumni Development
  4. Regional Economic Development

Key Performance Indicators

  1. Total Enrollment
  2. Program Enrollment
  3. National and Regional Rankings
  4. Awards and Public Recognitions
  5. Publications and Presentations
  6. Grants funded

New and Responsive Analysis

  1. Strategic Resource Allocation
  2. Program Reviews
  3. Financial Review of the College

Expanded Partnerships

  1. K-12 Relationships
  2. Educational Access Network Curriculum
  3. Digital Delivery
  4. International

Five-Year Goals

  1. 1 year

Associate Degree in Insurance

Revision of Associate Degree in General Business

Bachelor of Science in Applied Management

Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics

  1. 2-3 Years

Associate Degree in Cyber-defense

Revise Financial Management Major

Digital Delivery of MBA

Increase International Partnerships to Five

  1. 3-5 Years

Masters of Science in Accounting

MBA with Concentration in Health Care

Maintain AACSB Accreditation

These strategies will ensure the success of the college well into the future.

The active management of the strategic plan incorporates management at the college, department and program levels to ensure that quality, innovation, and the delivery of professional business education occurs at all levels. The dean, department heads, assistant department heads, active strategy champions, and faculty, will all be involved in the monitoring, review, and implementation of the strategic plan.

[i] Myrna, John W. The Chemistry of Strategy, Global Professional Publishing, 2014.