Strategic planning process
Timeline: phases of VCU’s strategic plan
Virginia Commonwealth University’s strategic plan is a living document that has guided the university since 1993.
In April 2010, President Michael Rao charged a task force with the redesign of VCU’s strategic plan, VCU 2020: A Vision for Excellence. The following charge was delivered to the task force:
- Assess the current progress in meeting the themes/initiatives in VCU 2020: A Vision for Excellence; specifying themes/initiatives that have been met and those that have not
- Determine the resources invested in themes/initiatives that have been met and the costs to achieve unmet themes/initiatives
- Determine the impact of the decline in state funding on achieving yet unmet goals and continuing those goals that have been met
- Pose new strategies for achieving excellence in the current fiscal climate
- Prioritize continuing VCU 2020 priorities and proposed new priorities for consideration in a new VCU Vision for the Future
Co-chaired by Beverly J. Warren, Ed.D., Ph.D., and Sheldon M. Retchin, M.D., M.S.P.H., the Strategic Planning Task Force convened four community forums to derive input on the benefits and challenges that exist as the institution begins to shape its future under new leadership and with a fiscal climate never before encountered in higher education. Over a 10 week period, the task force addressed the charge presented by President Rao.
In addressing the president’s charge to assess the current strategic plan and to pose new strategies for achieving excellence, the task force presented a full report to President Rao on July 22, 2010, that responded to each of the five points of the presidential charge. After assessing the progress made toward meeting the five major themes and 40 strategic initiatives in the current 2020 plan, the task force determined that much has been accomplished in advancing VCU as a learning-centered research university. Review the assessment .
The task force posed new and continuing priorities in a recalibrated vision for the future in its interim report for the Board of Visitors. The report proposed major themes and goals for the recalibration of our strategic plan as well as potential key performance indicators to serve as metrics for accountability. It also included some initial revisions proposed by members of the Board of Visitors at the August 2010 meeting. President Rao, Interim Provost Warren and Vice President Retchin engaged board members in an in-depth discussion of Recalibration on Oct. 14, 2010.
The preliminary report was a launching point for broader discussions throughout the fall semester, with key university leadership groups and in community forums. Nine community forums were held. Comments from the VCU community were collected at the forums and, electronically, through this website.
A summary report was developed in November 2010. That report served as the framework for further refinement. In late November, four work groups were formed to propose strategic initiatives for each theme and to address broad resource needs to accomplish the aspirational goals within each theme. Each work group was comprised of approximately 25 to 30 members of the university community including students, faculty and staff. In addition, the Theme IV work group held a forum work session with more than 50 community leaders in the Greater Richmond Region. Each work group produced a summary report and recommendations to the task force.
The task force met in January 2011 to compile a final report to President Michael Rao. This final report has incorporated the comments/suggestions from the university community regarding themes, goals and strategic initiatives. The task force revised the final report to include proposed benchmark institutions, university-level key performance indicators and critical resource allocations necessary to accomplish the themes, goals and strategic initiatives.
The final task force report incorporated the comments/suggestions from the university community regarding themes, goals and strategic initiatives and was submitted to President Rao on Jan. 24, 2011.
With leadership from President Rao and the Board of Visitors, the senior administrative team of the university engaged in extensive discussions and work sessions to determine the specific strategic initiatives that will frame the university’s direction over the next six years.
On April 18, 2011, the president and the Board of Visitors held a Strategic Planning Retreat to review the plan. The plan evolved into VCU Quest for Distinction , which is now online.
After a series of public hearings, the final draft of VCU Quest for Distinction was presented to the Board of Visitors, who approved the plan at its May 2011 meeting.