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Strategic And Operational Planning At The Department Level

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.372.1 - 2.372.6



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Phil Fabiano

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1247

Strategic and Operational Planning At The Department Level Phil Fabiano New Jersey Institute of Technology


This paper describes the process used to develop a strategic-operational plan for the Engineering Technology (ET) department at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The activities of the planning process that led to a combined strategic-operational plan, are presented as a guide for starting and undertaking departmental level planning within academic departments. A historical summary of the NJIT University planning activities leading to its first strategic plan is first presented as background information. The NJIT University Strategic Plan is discussed as the higher level plan providing the foundation leading to the strategies, goals, and objectives of a lower level strategic-operational plan for theETdepartment. The format, planning process, and summary of results and problems encountered are then discussed.


The New Jersey Institute of Technology has long recognized the need for long range planning. Its tradition in contemporary planning began in 1972 when it prepared A Broadening of Mission: The Development of a Technological University, a background paper for the Middle States Association Case Study. This document was a recognition of the importance of linking the accreditation process with the planning process. Since 1972 NJIT has undertaken many self- study and master planning activities. These activities were integrated with other University planning activities and led in 1990 to the creation of a self-study/planning steering committee. The committee, in turn, identified task forces for achieving continuity to the planning process. More than 120 NJIT people representing faculty, administration, staff, students, alumni, and external constituents were involved in the process. This integrated effort led to NJIT's first University level, five year strategic plan in 1992. Since then, integrated strategic planning has been an embedded process within NJIT and has provided in a top down fashion the strategies, objectives, and goals for bottom up planning at the operational levels of administrative and academic departments.

Although effective in moving an organization forward, strategic planning at the university level requires the support of strategic and operational planning at the departmental level. At this level, the groups and people responsible for doing the detailed work activities leading to the achievement of strategic planning goals and objectives, can provide realistic estimates for required resources and scheduling. In this way, top down strategic planning at the university level is integrated and supported with bottom planning at the departmental and group level. The result is an integrated plan that is supported by all organizations and people involved, and therefore is more likely to succeed. The purpose of this paper is to report on the activities undertaken by one academic department in creating its first strategic-operational plan.

The NJIT Strategic Plan

NJIT is in the process of completing its 1997 strategic plan. A draft of the NJIT University level plan has been completed following an integrated process similar to that used for the 1992 plan. The ET department of NJIT has used the draft plan as the top down plan, guiding its departmental strategic-operational planning activity. Clearly stated in the NJIT University plan are mission and vision statements. These statements are supported by goals, objectives, strategies, and status in eight strategic areas;

Fabiano, P. (1997, June), Strategic And Operational Planning At The Department Level Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6797

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