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Strategic Planning

As the largest college within the University of South Dakota, South Dakota’s flagship and only liberal arts university, the College of Arts & Sciences strives to offer a world-class education in the liberal arts and sciences, to create and to disseminate knowledge, and to serve the people of South Dakota, the nation, and the world.

During the academic year 2021-2022, the College of Arts & Sciences is undergoing a strategic planning process that will catalyze our vision for and actions in developing the College’s future. The College Strategic Planning Taskforce will utilize a five-phase process that will engage stakeholders both on- and off-campus. The strategic plan that will emerge from these efforts will be true to the mission and values of the College and University and will guide College decisions.

Guiding Principles

This strategic planning process builds upon the guiding principles and practices established during USD strategic planning, as well as principles agreed upon by the Taskforce during their initial planning meeting.

USD Guiding Principles

1) Meaningful engagement of institutional stakeholders through face-to-face interaction and discussion;

2) Transparency through the sharing of information;

3) The role of the facilitator is to help tap into and build the capacity of the internal stakeholders and guide the planning process, not direct it;

4) The process pays attention to the external issues and trends in higher education so that institutional stakeholders don’t become to inwardly focused;

5) At several points, the planning process engages external stakeholder, such as alumni, community leaders and businesspeople.

Arts and Sciences Principles

1) The Taskforce members will be accountable to each other, the college, and the stakeholder groups with whom they interact;

2) The Taskforce members will facilitate a safe environment that fosters the sharing of ideas, including but not limited to maintaining anonymity of stakeholder responses;

3) The Taskforce members will strive for inclusive representation of ideas and persons.


The collaborative strategic planning process is broken into five phases and is expected to be complete in 2022.

1) Phase I: Getting Organized (2 months)

2) Phase II: Data Gathering and Engagement (2 months)

a. Stakeholder Meetings

i. Members of the USD College of Arts and Sciences Strategic Planning Taskforce will meet with internal and external stakeholders across the state through the end of October 2021.

b. Persons who are not able to attend a Stakeholder Meeting are encouraged to provide comments to the College via an anonymous survey.

3) Phase III: Making Sense of the Issues (2-3 months)

a. Concept Papers

i. Concept Papers aim to inform and educate readers about a particular subject and organize information for the planning process. Concept papers, written by members of the Taskforce, neutrally present facts (not opinions) about a subject so that the reader can understand critical elements and decisions that need to be made regarding that issue.

1. Concept Papers will be made available (links to come)

4) Phase IV: Making a Vision for the Future (1-2 months)

a. Vision Statement

i. From the concept papers, the Taskforce and other stakeholders create a Vision for the College over the next five years. The leadership team then works to synthesize the vision created by the Taskforce and stakeholder to form a written Vision Statement for the College. This document is aspirational and serves as the foundation for developing strategic planning goals during the next phase.

1. Vision Statement will be made available (Link to come)

5) Phase V: Establishing Goals (1-2 months)

To provide input to the Taskforce please complete the anonymous survey.