Strategic planning for research administration.Introduction
Research administration is an academic support function that facilitates research activity through the administration of grant applications for internal and external resources. As such, the mission of the responsible unit must closely align with the strategic plan of the university. By linking the activities of the Office of Research Administration with the larger mission of the university, research administrators can successfully negotiate for a larger fraction of university resources. Likewise, by explicitly distinguishing the relative importance of funded research, the university can more successfully recognize and celebrate faculty accomplishments.
Successful strategic planning Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people. centers on establishing realistic goals and developing workable strategies for attaining those goals. By focusing on its core competencies A core competency is something that a firm can do well and that meets the following three conditions specified by Hamel and Prahalad (1990):
Assessing success at attaining goals is essential not only for annual evaluation but also for reforming and evolving the strategic plan. By fostering a process of continual assessment and planning, the university can create a culture of strategic thinking and strategic management within the office of research administration. Such a cultural change is of great benefit in the face of increasing competition for internal and external resources.
Creating a Strategic Plan for Research Administration
A vast literature on the process and pitfalls of strategic planning exists (e.g., Besanko, Dranove, & Shanley, 2003; Bryson & Alston, 1995; Dudik, 2000; Fogg, 1994; Kaplan & Norton, 1996, 2000; Kotter, 1996; Napier, Sanaghan, Sidle si·dle
v. si·dled, si·dling, si·dles
1. To move sideways: sidled through the narrow doorway.
2. , & Saraghan, 1997; Wootton & Horne, 2002), and any basic reference can prove helpful when undertaking strategic planning for research administration. In the fall of 2000, Purdue University Purdue University (pərdy`, -d`), main campus at West Lafayette, Ind. undertook a comprehensive, systemwide, strategic planning initiative. As part of that process, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Academics
Synthesis of two university systems
IPFW's degrees are awarded by either Purdue University or Indiana University on a program-by-program basis. IPFW's schools and academic divisions are not each identified specifically as Indiana University units or as (IPFW IPFW Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (Fort Wayne, IN, USA)
IPFW Internet Protocol Firewall ) developed a campus-wide strategic plan that the Trustees of Purdue University approved in November of 2001 (IPFW, 2003a). A significant outcome of the plan was the creation of the Office of Research and External Support (ORES). Previously, research support services support services Psychology Non-health care-related ancillary services–eg, transportation, financial aid, support groups, homemaker services, respite services, and other services had been a somewhat neglected function of the Office of Academic Affairs. Creation of a new research administration organization demanded undertaking a comprehensive strategic planning effort. A completed plan would then serve as an operational foundation for this newly created unit, as well as a guide for future growth of the organization. Presented below is an outline of the strategic planning process ORES used to create a strategic plan closely paralleling the IPFW strategic plan. Throughout the discussion, examples are presented from the ORES plan. While the sequence of steps presented below worked at IPFW, alternative processes might be equally successful. Success is determined by how open the planning process is and how extensively the completed plan links to performance review and budget planning.
One of the keys to successful strategic planning is establishing a solid foundation for the process (e.g., Napier et al., 1997; Wootton & Horne, 2002). This initial step consists of several related tasks, the first of which is creating an organizational profile. Developing a clear understanding of how the process of research administration is organized, who has responsibility for specific tasks, as well as the relationships between the organization, its faculty clients, and its administrative supervisors combine to establish a complete snapshot (1) A saved copy of memory including the contents of all memory bytes, hardware registers and status indicators. It is periodically taken in order to restore the system in the event of failure.
(2) A saved copy of a file before it is updated. of the current organization. From this information, the reasons for undertaking strategic planning are addressed by summarizing specific issues or challenges as well as identifying the data required to guide the planning process. Finally, the university must create a strategic planning committee, the membership of which reflects the variety of stakeholders Stakeholders
All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government. associated with research administration. Each member of the committee must accept a very clear role in the process as well as a specific set of duties to accomplish. By completing these three initial tasks, the planning process can move forward with a minimum of organizational problems.
Step Two--Articulating mission, vision, and values.
Strategic planning documents generally consist of two parts: (a) framing statements that define the organization and its operation and (b) the set of goals and assessment techniques that constitute the action items of the plan (e.g., Dudik, 2000; Fogg, 1994). Developing the framing statements is often one of the most difficult and time-consuming aspects of strategic planning. These statements are, however, the most publicly visible components of the plan, and one must take great care in their crafting, especially considering the confusion that can develop concerning the terminology of strategic planning. The first of the framing statements is the mission. A mission statement also generally comprises two parts: (a) a purpose, defining why the organization exists and what it seeks to accomplish, and (b) the function, describing the main process through which the Office of Research Administration achieves its purpose (Figure 1). Whereas the mission statement summarizes the organization and its activity, the vision presents an image of what organizational success will look like (Figure 2). The process of clearly staring the definition of organizational success in the vision statement facilitates construction of the action items later in the planning process. Finally, the values consist of a set of shared principles that help guide the accomplishment of the mission of the organization (Figure 3). Together, these framing statements define and direct the activities of the organization as well as the development of the remainder of the planning document.
Step Three--Strategic thinking.
Successful strategic planning extends beyond simply writing a planning document. Establishing a culture of strategic thinking is the only way to ensure organizational success in the face of the dynamic landscape of higher education higher education
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. and the intense competition for internal and external resources. The first component of strategic thinking is establishing a baseline of past activity as well as a longitudinal study longitudinal study
a chronological study in epidemiology which attempts to establish a relationship between an antecedent cause and a subsequent effect. See also cohort study. of organizational performance Organizational performance comprises the actual output or results of an organization as measured against its intended outputs (or goals and objectives).
Specialists in many fields are concerned with organizational performance including strategic planners, operations, . Together, these studies provide a complete situational assessment that informs the strategic planning committee about the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. From these data, the committee can highlight critical issues that face the Office of Research Administration and develop plans for how to address those issues. This process is similar to the commonly used SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) approach, but differs in that quantitative data alone provides the basis rather than the more typical quantitative and qualitative mix used in a SWOT analysis SWOT Analysis
A tool that identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization. . By creating a culture of strategic thinking as part of the planning process, the organization may respond to future changes much more easily.
Step Four--Creating the action items.
The second major component of a strategic planning document is the set of detailed action items associated with defining and measuring the activities of research administration. The institution may divide these actions into three hierarchical levels: goals (what needs to be done), strategies (how it is to be done), and performance indicators (how to measure completion of action items) (Figure 4). Goals reflect the strategic vision, informed by the values, which aid in the accomplishment of the mission of the organization. Generally, a strategic plan for an administrative sub-unit, such as an office of research administration, should have between four and seven goals, depending upon the range and complexity of services the organization offers. For each goal, the organization must identify several strategies that define the process by which the unit will meet that goal. Likewise, for each strategy at least one performance indicator must establish the mechanisms to use to measure achieving the goal. Two distinct types of performance indicators are commonly used in strategic planning documents, metrics metrics Managed care A popular term for standards by which the quality of a product, service, or outcome of a particular form of Pt management is evaluated. See TQM. and milestones. A plan employs a metric when the descriptor (1) A word or phrase that identifies a document in an indexed information retrieval system.
(2) A category name used to identify data.
(operating system) descriptor is a quantitative measure defined in terms of number of occurences, financial value, frequency, or percentage. Conversely con·verse 1
intr.v. con·versed, con·vers·ing, con·vers·es
1. To engage in a spoken exchange of thoughts, ideas, or feelings; talk. See Synonyms at speak.
2. , a milestone describes an either/or condition, where no quantitave characteristic is readily definable. Examples include completion of strategic plan, publication of annual or hiring a new staff member. Either the tasks were completed or they were not.
Step Five--Key indicators.
Creation of action items can result in a large, and perhaps unwieldy, array of goals, strategies, and performance indicators. While these items define and describe the core content of a strategic plan, they are often written at a level of detail beyond that appropriate for general reporting of the activities of the organization. Therefore, one must create a short list of key performance indicators Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are financial and non-financial metrics used to quantify objectives to reflect strategic performance of an organization. KPIs are used in Business Intelligence to assess the present state of the business and to prescribe a course of action. that will serve as the core quantitative description of the activities of the organization (Figure 5). In the case of many academic service units, composing com·pose
v. com·posed, com·pos·ing, com·pos·es
1. To make up the constituent parts of; constitute or form: a short list of key indicators is difficult. For research administration, however, the situation is rather straightforward. A typical list might include the number of external grant applications submitted, the percentage of applications successful, or the total value of awards received during the fiscal year. Since these key indicators represent the most important measures of the success of the Office of Research Administration, they become central to all reporting processes. Ultimately the success of the unit will be judged by these measures.
Step Six--Completing the written plan.
Transforming the strategic plan from a draft to a fully functional document is largely a process of vetting vet 1 Informal
v. vet·ted, vet·ting, vets
1. To subject to veterinary evaluation, examination, medication, or surgery.
2. . By involving representatives from all classes of stakeholders throughout the creation, one can create a final draft with broad acceptance. During this stage of the process, the components provided by various members of the planning committee planning committee n (in local government) → comité m de planificación must be re-crafted into a document with a single voice. During this amalgamation amalgamation /amal·ga·ma·tion/ (ah-mal´gah-ma´shun) trituration (3).
amalgamation ( , care must be taken to avoid several different types of problems that can arise. First, revisions must be agreed upon Adj. 1. agreed upon - constituted or contracted by stipulation or agreement; "stipulatory obligations"
noncontroversial, uncontroversial - not likely to arouse controversy and completed in a timely manner. Second, the process of creating goals, strategies, and performance indicators often results in a need to reevaluate the broader mission, vision, and values statements. As operational details of the plan are developed, revision of aspects of these framing statements can become contentious, reflecting the variety, and individual perspectives and biases of members of the planning committee. Any serious conflict that arises must be fully addressed prior to implementation of the plan. Failure to do so will potentially undermine the validity of the strategic directions chosen.
Step Seven--Implementing the process.
The single greatest fear associated with initiating a strategic planning process is the potential failure of implementation of the plan. In order to maximize the usefulness of the planning process and the resulting strategic plan, four conditions must prevail. First, the creation of the plan must occur through an open and honest exchange of information and opinions. If the process of planning contains flaws, those flaws will rebound with devastating dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. consequence during the implementation of the plan. Second, while the plan must be obvious as the product of the work of a representative committee, leadership must firmly embrace it. Given the variety of organizational structures This article has no lead section.
To comply with Wikipedia's lead section guidelines, one should be written. employed by colleges and universities within which research administration fits, the critical leader can vary from the chief executive officer (President or Chancellor) to the chief academic officer (Provost PROVOST. A title given to the chief of some corporations or societies. In France, this title was formerly given to some presiding judges. The word is derived from the Latin praepositus. , Vice President or Vice Chancellor vice chancellor
n. Abbr. VC
1. A deputy or an assistant chancellor in a university.
2. A deputy to or a substitute for a head of state or an official bearing the title chancellor.
3. for Academic Affairs). Any plan that fails to attract the support of leadership is destined des·tine
tr.v. des·tined, des·tin·ing, des·tines
1. To determine beforehand; preordain: a foolish scheme destined to fail; a film destined to become a classic.
2. to become moribund moribund /mor·i·bund/ (mor´i-bund) in a dying state.
At the point of death; dying.
mor as subordinates realize that goal setting and performance assessment are not tied to the structure of the plan. Third, strategic management will flow naturally from strategic planning when internal resource allocation resource allocation Managed care The constellation of activities and decisions which form the basis for prioritizing health care needs is tied to the successful implementation of the plan. Research administrators can leverage additional resources with a well developed strategic plan, while at the same time using the highly structured reporting of performance indicators as justification for the continued allocation of those resources currently committed. Until budget planning aligns with strategic planning, the most well crafted plan will fail. Finally, the plan must be dynamic. The planning committee must continue to discuss the results of performance analysis, modify metrics, and adjust goals and strategies to reflect changing environmental factors. Institutions of higher education are becoming increasingly dynamic in their styles of leadership and organization. Thus implementation of a strategic plan over a two- to four-year duration will require significant modification of that plan as conditions within and without the university change. By revisiting the plan periodically the institution can sustain and magnify mag·ni·fy
To increase the apparent size of, especially with a lens. the impact of the document by assuring its continued implementation.
The Office of Research and External Support at IPFW is set to embark on Verb 1. embark on - get off the ground; "Who started this company?"; "We embarked on an exciting enterprise"; "I start my day with a good breakfast"; "We began the new semester"; "The afternoon session begins at 4 PM"; "The blood shed started when the partisans the second year of operations under the strategic plan. During '02-'03 we achieved a major advance in sponsored research activity on campus: total grants and contracts increased 40% compared to the previous year, we created a research fellows program, for the first time we submitted major multidisciplinary mul·ti·dis·ci·pli·nar·y
Of, relating to, or making use of several disciplines at once: a multidisciplinary approach to teaching. grant applications to the National Science Foundation, and we are forming plans to establish a multi-component research support program that will significantly increase the number of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows conducting research on campus. Perhaps IPFW could have made some, or even all, of these changes without a detailed strategic plan, but the long-term sustainability and growth of research at the institution depends strongly upon strategic thinking and strategic management within the ORES.
Figure 1. ORES Mission Statement The Purpose: The Office of Research and External Support (ORES) is a unit within the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) created to serve the scholarly and creative activities of faculty, students, and staff. The Function: Our mission is to facilitate the procurement of external support through research grants, contracts, and technical assistance agreements, to administer internal support for research, and to document and publicize the scholarly achievements of members of the IPFW community. Figure 2. Vision The ORES will * Enhance the research productivity of the University. * Increase external support of research. * Strengthen the research experiences of undergraduate and graduate students. * Celebrate the achievements of researchers. Figure 3. Values As an academic service unit we are committed to the academic excellence of the University. As such, the ORES values * A broad definition of research and creative activity that includes the scholarship of discovery, the scholarship of learning, and the scholarship of engagement. * The pursuit of knowledge in an environment that encourages free and open inquiry, academic achievement, scholarship, and creativity. * The celebration of academic achievement. * The importance of research experiences for undergraduate and gradate students. * The collaborative nature of research. Figure 4. Strategies Performance Indicators Goal I: Increase external support for research. 1. Administer the grant application process Process external grant # of applications processed applications # of applications funded Process internal grant # of applications processed applications # of applications funded Review faculty satisfaction Survey results with services 2. Match researchers with opportunities for external support Make announcements of grant # of announcements opportunities Facilitate individual matches # of meetings conducted between researchers and grant # of proposals resulting from opportunities meetings 3. Provide support for researchers to meet with funding agencies and program directors Increase communication between # of meetings conducted researchers and funding # of proposals resulting from agencies meetings 4. Create target list for high priority funding opportunities/projects. Create list # of opportunities/projects identified # of opportunities/projects submitted for external funding 5. Conduct workshops on the grant process and grant writing. Conduct workshops # of workshops # of participants # of new proposals from participants 6. Establish a research fellows program and other forms of intensive support for grant writing. Establish research fellows # of fellows designated program # of external applications submitted # of external applications funded $ value of research fellow grants $ F&A from research fellow grants Figure 5. Research Change Indicators The central mission of the ORES is to increase and expand the research productivity of the university. As such, overall performance of the Office will be assessed based upon the following four indicators. * Total Support for Research ($) * Numbers of External Grant Applications (#) * Number of Successful External Grants (#) * Total Amount of Facilities and Administration Revenue ($)
Besanko, D., Dranove, D. & Shanley, M. (2003). Economics of strategy (2nd ed.). New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : John Wiley John Wiley may refer to:
Bryson, J.M. & Alston, F.K. (1995). Creating and implementing your strategic plan: A workbook work·book
1. A booklet containing problems and exercises that a student may work directly on the pages.
2. A manual containing operating instructions, as for an appliance or machine.
3. for public and nonprofit organizations Nonprofit Organization
An association that is given tax-free status. Donations to a non-profit organization are often tax deductible as well.
Examples of non-profit organizations are charities, hospitals and schools. . San Francisco San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden : Jossey-Bass.
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A performance metric used in strategic management to identify and improve various internal functions and their resulting external outcomes. The balanced scorecard attempts to measure and provide feedback to organizations in order to assist in implementing : Translating strategy into action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Harvard Business School, officially named the Harvard Business School: George F. Baker Foundation, and also known as HBS, is one of the graduate schools of Harvard University. Press.
Kaplan, R.S. & Norton, D.P. (2000). The strategy-focused organization: How balanced scorecard companies thrive in the new business environment. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Kotter, J.P. (1996). Leading Change. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
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Author's Note: This manuscript was developed from a workshop given at the SRA SrA
senior airman section meeting, April 2003, in Memphis,Tennessee. I greatly appreciate the creative dialog that developed among the workshop participants; their insights were helpful in advancing my ideas of strategic planning. I am also indebted in·debt·ed
Morally, socially, or legally obligated to another; beholden.
[Middle English endetted, from Old French endette, past participle of endetter, to oblige to my workshop co-leader Patricia Farrell, Director of Research Support Services at IPFW. The manuscript was greatly improved by her thoughtful comments. Contact: Cad N. Drummond, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Fort Wayne, city (1990 pop. 173,072), seat of Allen co., NE Ind., where the St. Joseph and St. Marys rivers join to form the Maumee River; inc. 1840. It is the second largest city in the state, a major railroad and shipping point, a wholesale and distribution hub, , IN 46805-1499. Ph: (260) 481-5750. Email: email@example.com.
Carl N. Drummond, Ph.D.
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
Carl N. Drummond, PhD, is Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and External support and Professor of Geology at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Currently in his fourth year of service in the Office of Academic Affairs, Drummond spearheaded the development of the IPFW Office of Research and External Support. Maintaining an active research program in the field of quantitative stratigraphy stratigraphy, branch of geology specifically concerned with the arrangement of layered rocks (see stratification). Stratigraphy is based on the law of superposition, which states that in a normal sequence of rock layers the youngest is on top and the oldest on the , and serving as editor of the National Association of Geoscience ge·o·sci·ence
Any one of the sciences, such as geology or geochemistry, that deals with the earth.
ge Teachers' Journal of Geoscience Education occupies what little time he has not dedicated to research administration. Drummond earned a BS in Geology at James Madison University “JMU” redirects here. For the university in Liverpool, England, see Liverpool John Moores University.
For the public-policy college at Michigan State University, see . , and MS and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan (body, education) University of Michigan - A large cosmopolitan university in the Midwest USA. Over 50000 students are enrolled at the University of Michigan's three campuses. The students come from 50 states and over 100 foreign countries. .