ACUI has used strategic planning to guide the work of the Association since the early 1990s. Generally, a five-year timetable was used to pursue and accomplish defined goals and objectives. In 2020, ACUI leadership decided to abruptly revise the plan that had been in place to focus the Association’s energy on navigating the tumultuous challenges associated with a global health pandemic, a major recession, and numerous racial injustices taking place on campuses and in society. The state of confusion and uncertainty across the higher education landscape, coupled with limited staff and volunteers who could help to implement a strategic plan, required us to pivot as an association. As the adjusted plan ends, the Board of Trustees is diligently working to develop the next five-year strategic plan.
In 2023, the Board of Trustees gathered and analyzed data, including the membership needs assessment, financial and membership information, Regional Engagement Task Force recommendations, and results from a strategic planning and DEI survey that was sent to members. Additionally, the board conducted an environmental scan to identify relevant trends, challenges, and opportunities in the profession, along with a comprehensive benchmarking of peer associations. Finally, member focus groups helped to surface additional information and insight.
The Board of Trustees met in November 2023 at Rutgers University during the Region VII Conference to work in-person on strategic planning. Drawing upon the input provided by the ACUI community, the board reexamined the Association’s mission, vision, and values. Additionally, member input, along with the findings of the various data collection efforts, led to the development of overarching strategic pillars and aligned goals. Initial drafts emphasize the role of the Association in supporting the work of professionals in their service to students and in advancing campus community. The preliminary strategic pillars and goals reflect ACUI’s commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice, along with a strategic focus on education, member engagement, and initiatives to support active dialogue and civic engagement.
The next step for the strategic planning process includes feedback forums with the ACUI Leadership Team and community of practice leaders. The board will then finalize the mission, vision, values, strategic pillars, and initial goals. It is anticipated that the new strategic plan will be revealed at the Business Meeting during the Annual Conference in Denver, March 24–28.