Strategic Planning Initiative Launched

Author: Malcolm McDowell Woods

Published Date: 1/24/2018

Categories: F1RST Magazine F1RST Spring 2018

New Strategic Planning Initiative Underway

Mapping Carroll's Future

Checking out the lay of the land, eyes steady on the horizon, adjusting course while still moving forward—that’s what pioneers do. And that’s just what Wisconsin’s pioneer university is doing as it embarks on a strategic planning process. 

A committee, chaired by Provost Dr. Joanne Passaro, has begun a year-long information-gathering project that will result in a new 7- to 10-year strategic plan for the university. The committee was created by the board of trustees, which tasked the 15-member strategic plan steering committee with seeking answers to five strategic questions. They ask about everything from the school’s ideal enrollment size, to potential academic programs, to managing the institution’s endowment and more.

More than 30 focus group meetings with faculty, staff, alumni, students and local business leaders were conducted this fall. Results of those meetings will be reported to the board in 2018.

According to President Gnadinger, it’s time for the campus to engage in such an effort. “Our former president, Dr. Hastad, oversaw and implemented the last strategic plan during his 11 years here. The result of that successful work is evident and includes an expansion of our physical campus, a growth in academic programs, a significant increase in our endowment and financial stability. This is the perfect time for our Carroll community to pause and decide what direction we’d like to go in over the next 7–10 years to ensure we build on our past success and move forward with a focused plan and clear outcomes to guide us.”

Gnadinger will be responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of this plan. She asked Provost Passaro to serve as chair of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee.

“This allows me to step back and observe the process,” noted Gnadinger. “I am able to watch and listen carefully during meetings, which has allowed me to learn what matters to the Carroll community. Once we gather information from our constituent groups, I will assist our steering committee in developing the plan. Afterward, I will oversee its implementation.”

Focus groups have been ongoing during the fall semester and more are planned in spring. Comments on the process may be directed to

“We hope to have a clear plan, (I consider it a roadmap) that will chart our direction for the next 7–10 years,” noted Gnadinger. “It will likely provide broad goals rather than specifics, in terms of target enrollments, student demographics, endowment goals and direction for academic programming.”

Carroll University Strategic Planning By The Numbers:

Strategic Questions

The new strategic planning process will be guided by the following five strategic questions:

Make a comment about the strategic planning process

Progress Since Last Plan

Carroll’s last comprehensive strategic planning process started in May 2004, and resulted in Pioneering our Future: Carroll College 2007–2012 Strategic Plan, which was approved after former president Doug Hastad took office in July 2006. Key objectives of the 2007–12 plan that have been achieved are:

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