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A Qualitative Examination of Strategic Planning and Process Improvement in Public Universities: Dynamics of the Relationship to State Funding, Competition, and Undergraduate Degree Completion

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Date Issued:
2018
Abstract/Description:
Public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are facing many challenges including state funding, competition, and maintaining the best possible graduation rate. This study: (1) examined the strategic plans and strategic planning processes to explore how, and to what extent, these tool are being used to address these challenges; and (2) explored the extent to which continuous process improvement is included in strategic planning efforts. A qualitative research design employing a grounded theory approach was used in this study. The researcher reviewed the perceptions of the participants at each of four selected public institutions regarding strategic planning processes, including their beliefs with regard to process improvement as a component of the strategic planning process. Perceived facilitators and detractors of strategic planning and its implementation were also examined. Finally, the researcher sought to design an improved model for strategic planning in higher education that takes continuous process improvement into consideration as a basic component of the approach to planning. The dominant theme that emerged from the data analysis concerned state funding, as performance-based funding offers an opportunity to acquire additional funds. Graduation rate was identified as a core component of student success. Competition from emerging sectors was not a specific topic of discussion during the strategic planning processes. Forty-one percent of participants indicated that some form of process improvement structure exists at their institution, often related to accreditation reviews and was outside of the strategic planning process. 53% of the responses to the question, “What do you believe would be the impact of having process improvement as an integral component in the strategic planning process?” replied that it would be good or beneficial if it were carried out in a meaningful manner. Twenty-nine percent of the 53% stated that process improvement efforts are often performed for it’s own sake, and that including process improvement in the strategic planning process should be done in a manner that adds value to the strategic planning process and the institution. Through the analysis of the approaches to strategic planning examined in this study, the researcher offers a new strategic planning model for HEIs grounded in the findings.
Title: A Qualitative Examination of Strategic Planning and Process Improvement in Public Universities: Dynamics of the Relationship to State Funding, Competition, and Undergraduate Degree Completion.
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Name(s): Ford, Stanford E., author
Wright, Dianne A., Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
College of Education
Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2018
Date Issued: 2018
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 174 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are facing many challenges including state funding, competition, and maintaining the best possible graduation rate. This study: (1) examined the strategic plans and strategic planning processes to explore how, and to what extent, these tool are being used to address these challenges; and (2) explored the extent to which continuous process improvement is included in strategic planning efforts. A qualitative research design employing a grounded theory approach was used in this study. The researcher reviewed the perceptions of the participants at each of four selected public institutions regarding strategic planning processes, including their beliefs with regard to process improvement as a component of the strategic planning process. Perceived facilitators and detractors of strategic planning and its implementation were also examined. Finally, the researcher sought to design an improved model for strategic planning in higher education that takes continuous process improvement into consideration as a basic component of the approach to planning. The dominant theme that emerged from the data analysis concerned state funding, as performance-based funding offers an opportunity to acquire additional funds. Graduation rate was identified as a core component of student success. Competition from emerging sectors was not a specific topic of discussion during the strategic planning processes. Forty-one percent of participants indicated that some form of process improvement structure exists at their institution, often related to accreditation reviews and was outside of the strategic planning process. 53% of the responses to the question, “What do you believe would be the impact of having process improvement as an integral component in the strategic planning process?” replied that it would be good or beneficial if it were carried out in a meaningful manner. Twenty-nine percent of the 53% stated that process improvement efforts are often performed for it’s own sake, and that including process improvement in the strategic planning process should be done in a manner that adds value to the strategic planning process and the institution. Through the analysis of the approaches to strategic planning examined in this study, the researcher offers a new strategic planning model for HEIs grounded in the findings.
Identifier: FA00005993 (IID)
Degree granted: Dissertation (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2018.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Public universities and colleges
Strategic planning
Higher education and state
Education, Higher--Planning
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00005993
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Owner Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.