At the EDUCAUSE annual conference last year, I announced that we were launching a process to develop five-year strategic directions that I would be sharing at the 2016 annual conference in Anaheim. Since that announcement, EDUCAUSE staff and I have been connecting with the community and working with our board to make this happen.
First, we completed a comprehensive internal and external environmental scan to understand our community better and to hear directly what we are doing well and what we can improve. This process started a few months after I was hired when we sent a community poll to all EDUCAUSE members, followed by a comprehensive member survey a few months later. We invited all members to share their thoughts, and we heard from 2,000 of you. This information, along with more details drawn from many focus groups and interviews with community members and others, gave us a realistic picture of the challenges and opportunities for EDUCAUSE in the next five years. Finally, we added to this input an environmental scan that took into account higher education and association trends, as well as peer and competitor comparisons.
On the strength of this community input, we are now hard at work crafting our plan—while also checking our thinking with EDUCAUSE members along the way. On June 29–30 we discussed with the EDUCAUSE board our current thinking; the board supported the approach and offered suggestions as we continue the process for having a five-year strategic plan completed by our 2016 annual conference.
We devoted much of our June board meeting to strategic planning, and we will meet exclusively on planning in August as well. As our strategic plan takes shape, we will continue to provide opportunities for community input in September and October, with board approval of a five-year strategic plan anticipated at the October board meeting just prior to the annual conference. Information on these town hall meetings will be posted here.
I am committed to bringing to the EDUCAUSE membership a five-year plan that is both grounded in reality and unapologetically aspirational. Thank you to all of you who have been involved in the process. You have donated your precious time to respond to surveys; you have served on focus groups; you've given input in many other ways; and, in the case of the EDUCAUSE board members, you have strongly represented the membership in important strategic conversations. I am so grateful to all of you for your commitment to EDUCAUSE and the community we serve.
John O'Brien is President and CEO of EDUCAUSE.
© 2016 John O'Brien. The text of this article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.