Grand Valley State University


Grand Valley State University

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Environmental Scan Process for
the GVSU 2016-2021 Strategic Plan

Grand Valley State University’s Strategic Plan 2016-2021 is grounded by a thorough, timely environmental scan undertaken in 2013 and 2014. During this process, the current and anticipated factors most likely to impact the University in the years ahead were identified, including demographic, economic and cultural trends affecting higher education; demographic, educational, economic and social data from West Michigan, statewide, the nation and world; information about the current and projected landscape of higher education in the U.S. and abroad; the technology trends most likely to affect the institution’s pedagogical, administrative and management functions; and in-depth information about GVSU’s current successes and challenges, including the voluminous data available from the institution’s dashboard and its updates from the Strategic Plan 2010-2015.

This foundational environmental scan included some 12 Strategic Conversations – conducted as facilitated focus group sessions with all members of the University community, including students, faculty, administrators and staff; administration of online surveys to some approximately 180 individuals, posing similar questions in an electronic format that allowed for open-ended responses; key informant interviews and conversations with many of the influencers in the University community, including university board of trustees, university administrators, senior management team members, and academic leaders at GVSU and GVSU’s peer institutions; content analyses of recent articles published in the higher education professional literature about anticipated needs, approaches to meet these needs and other anticipated changes in the field expected to occur in the decade ahead; and content analyses of the strategic plans of other Institutions of Higher Education in Michigan and those of our peer institutions.