UW-Stout prides itself on an inclusive, collaborative, and innovative strategic planning process that incorporates multiple opportunities for input and review. Every 10 years, we start a new strategic planning cycle. Our current cycle—FOCUS2030—began in 2020 and will guide the university until 2030.
Our Planning Process
The planning process begins with a Visioning Session where external stakeholders—including local leaders, employers, and alumni—help focus our vision and set direction. At the Visioning Session, the stakeholders provide advice on UW-Stout’s mission, vision, and values, and they strategize with university leaders to ensure Stout is on a path to continuing success and improvement.
After the Visioning Session, the university’s Strategic Planning Group—which includes faculty, staff, and students—reviews stakeholder feedback to ensure our mission, vision, and values align with what we do now, what we want to do now, and where we want to be in the near future. If they don’t align, the Strategic Planning Group ensures adjustments are made.
The Strategic Planning Group also uses Visioning Session feedback to identify major goals for the university and to develop metrics, known as performance indicators, to measure our success in achieving these long-term goals.
To ensure continual progress, certain major units and programs develop annual university action plans that align with university goals. At the start of each academic year, the designated action plan leaders identify three to five major initiatives to implement that year. The action plans and resource allocations are approved by the Chancellor's Cabinet, and progress is monitored by the Strategic Planning Group. Based on feedback from the Strategic Planning Group, some of the items in the action plans receive dual designation as a university priority or as our Higher Learning Commission (HLC) quality initiative.
In addition, the campus community comes together at annual Engagement Sessions to discuss opportunities for improvement and brainstorm ways to reach our objectives. The Strategic Planning Group then uses this input to develop or enhance university-wide initiatives that help us attain our long-term goals.