Methodology

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis

Throughout fall 2018, conversations occurred across campus with the governance groups to determine important issues for the University to consider in the coming years. The strengths, weakness and opportunities identified by these groups were summarized into seven topics that guided focus group held in spring 2019.

Trend Analysis

In addition, current higher education trends were evaluated and presented during each focus group meeting to help inform the development of strategies that the University will include in its next Strategic Plan.

Focus Groups

During spring 2019, SU hosted 21 focus groups for campus constituents to attend, as well as two additional focus groups for the Foundation and Alumni board members.

Approximately 246 faculty, staff and students registered to attend at least one of 21 campus focus group sessions:

  • 94 faculty
  • 126 staff
  • 26 students

For those who were unable to attend a focus group in person, a Canvas discussion board for Strategic Planning was created. Additionally, anonymous feedback submission was possible through a Strategic Planning survey. An additional five staff and two faculty members submitted feedback through the survey.

At each focus group session, registrants were assigned to a table where they would sit with two-five other faculty, staff or students. Table assignments were intentionally designed to provide a breadth of backgrounds at each table so that no single constituent group voice would be overemphasized. Following a presentation about the higher education trends pertinent to the focus group topic, each attendee was asked to consider several potential strategies that were developed as a result the fall 2018 SWOT discussions.

During the first part of their group work, attendees were asked to discuss these strategies with other attendees seated at their table. Facilitators were on hand to respond to any questions and provide clarification. Next, attendees were asked to work with other attendees at their table to develop additional strategies they felt were relevant to the focus group topic. Finally, attendees at each table displayed their table’s ideas on flip charts and all focus group attendees were asked to review all strategies and vote for those they thought should be prioritized. Time was provided at the end of each focus group session to discuss the strategies that were displayed