Strategic Planning as a Dean: Enhance Your Unit’s Success from Start to Finish

Last updated November 17, 2022

Course Length

2h 23m

Last Updated

November 17, 2022

Strategic Planning as a Dean: Enhance Your Unit’s Success from Start to Finish

Last updated November 17, 2022

Avoid common pitfalls and improve unit-level accountability during your unit’s strategic planning and implementation process.


Strategic plans typically take several months to develop and are designed to be implemented over a three- to five-year window. In contrast, the average tenure for a dean is often about three years—less than the time it takes to realize most strategic plans. Layered with the additional complexity of continual leadership transitions throughout the organization, it’s no wonder that the strategic plan of the unit often lacks momentum during development, fails to get implemented, and/or fizzles out during execution. Given the increased competitive pressure many institutions are facing, failure to realize a strategic plan can result in a large opportunity cost for the unit and/or reduce institutional credibility with external stakeholders—both of which can impede the unit’s longer-term growth and success.

Join us online for a workshop that will explore how you and your unit can more effectively approach the planning, implementation, and execution of a strategic plan. You’ll discuss tips and strategies for avoiding common pitfalls that lead to the downfall of a strategic plan, and you’ll also learn how to identify the warning signs that signal that your strategic plan is struggling. More importantly, you’ll walk away with tips and strategies to help you increase the engagement and accountability of others in your unit’s strategic plan in order to ensure success of the plan from start to finish.

Who should attend?

This training is designed for academic deans who find themselves at any stage of the process of developing, implementing, and/or monitoring a college- or unit-level strategic plan. Whether you’re launching a new strategic plan, modifying an existing one, or working through one you inherited from a previous dean, this training will help you to identify ways to enhance your unit’s success in seeing the strategic plan to the finish line.

Participants who attended the Essential Leadership Skills for Deans conference on April 3-4, 2023 in Washington, D.C. are automatically registered and strongly encouraged to participate in this virtual event.


April 10, 2023

1:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET


Through a combination of instructor-led content, group discussions, and practical exercises, you will explore the following topics:

  • Building an Inclusive and Data-Informed Process
    How do I ensure that our strategic planning process includes the right stakeholders at the right time, with the right information? How can I build an effective team responsible for planning, implementing, and executing the strategic plan?
  • Transitioning to Implementation
    How do I know when it’s time to shift from planning to implementation? How do I prepare my team for the transition?
  • Building In Accountability and Flexibility
    How do I hold the team accountable for delivering results while also providing the time and space to adjust the plan when or as needed? What governance mechanisms are necessary to ensure progress?
  • Measuring and Communicating Progress
    How do I identify metrics that can help to track the strategic plan? How many metrics make sense? How—and how often—do I communicate progress towards the plan to both internal and external stakeholders?

Miscellaneous Media

Course Highlights

  • 60 mins of video instruction
  • 8 short videos
  • 1 printable job aid
  • List of additional resources to continue your learning
  • Valued at $495. Free for members.