A strategic issue is a fundamental policy question or critical challenge affecting an organization’s mandates, mission, values, stakeholders, resources, structure, processes, management, or product or service level and mix.
Identifying strategic issues is one of the most important – and potentially one of the most difficult – steps in the planning process. President White had identified six strategic issues for the University of Illinois and indicated that the strategic issues facing UIC, UIS, and UIUC probably would not be significantly different from the six he identified, although the differences in the campuses would make them slightly different.
UIS, at a different point in history from the other two campuses, faces additional strategic issues that are unique to its transformation.
With that said, here are the strategic issues facing UIS:
- How do we get the attention of our stakeholders to help secure the resources required for excellence?
- How can we leverage our resources in pursuit of becoming one of the top small public liberal arts universities in the United States?
- What is the desirable level of online enrollment for an institution that is seeking to develop its residential student population and build a vibrant community?
- What do we have to do to build the brand, reputation, and stature of UIS?
- Where is the market for our students and faculty? Who are our top competitors for those students and faculty?
- How can UIS’ organizational structure, culture, and operating style be changed to enhance its ability to identify and respond to strategic opportunities, partnerships, and threats in an innovative, timely, and effective manner while also maintaining its academic principles? How do we resolve governance issues so that administrators, faculty leaders, and staff strive collegially to implement the UIS vision?
- How do we solidify our position in the University of Illinois system as a smaller but equal partner in implementing the goals and vision of the university?
- In what ways should UIS target its resources and capabilities to meet critical needs in the Springfield area, in Illinois, in the nation, and in the world?
- How do we balance the resource needs of professional programs, graduate programs, upper-level undergraduate courses in majors, and public affairs activities with the resource needs of lower-level undergraduate expansion?
- How do we continue to serve non-traditional students while building a world-class liberal arts oriented undergraduate learning experience?