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.
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.
- Critical Thinking
- Problem Solving
- Social and Sustainable Responsibility
- 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 three years 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. The fulfillment of the college mission involves several current action plans that continue to be valuable.
Current Strategic Action Areas
- Quality Teaching and Advising
- Quality Curriculum
- Quality Intellectual Contributions
- Successful Student Career Transitions
These areas are important to the delivery of successful programs and for prepared graduates to embark on their careers. These important areas are what the college does every day. As such, they contribute to the fulfillment of the college mission, but do little to move the organization toward the vision. It is an important component of the college strategy to accomplish these for action areas in a manner that emphasize quality as well as innovation, engagement and to have real impact on the students. The preparation of students for successful engagement in business and society through a process of continual improvement in all four of the strategic action areas listed above completes the college mission. The combination of the current action areas with growth strategy items will increase enrollment, revenue, credit hour production and move the college further toward the vision.
Growth Strategy (3-5 years)
Four strategies will provide growth opportunities for the college.
- Face-to-Face courses are the foundation of the academic delivery system of the college. The college has a long history of excellent interactions with classroom delivery. This will not change and will continue to be the base upon which the college builds programs.
- Digital Pedagogy describes any course delivery method that does not require the student to be present in the classroom to participate in the class. Asynchronous or synchronous online, hybrid, distance-based, or live digital participation are some of the methods that digital pedagogy can employ. The expansion of course, program and curriculum delivery to students not physically on the NMU campus can increase enrollment in the College of Business.
- Lifetime Learners are NMU alumni that continue to take classes. The college proposes to allow the alumni to repeat any class at no charge*. Students will only pay for classes or programs that are new. The digital option will allow students all over the country to take advantage of this option. (*On availability of digital options.)
- Early Engagement of students in high school and middle school can affect their higher education selections upon high school graduation. Our research indicates that high school juniors and seniors have selected their schools of choice. This program, utilizing faculty and college students, will engage the students at lower levels.
The active management of the strategic plan incorporates management at the college, department and program level 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.