University Strategic Planning Kickstarted With Two-Day Workshop

Focus groups to be conducted across campus community

Fifty-five members of the Frostburg State University campus came together on October 17 and 18 to jumpstart the university’s strategic planning process through an intensive  two-day workshop. The task force, composed of faculty, staff, and one student representative, engaged in the beginning of what will be a months-long planning process.

Pat Sanaghan of The Sanaghan Group, a private firm specializing in strategic planning, has been contracted by the university to lead the collaborative process. The task force is being chaired internally by: Tom Bowling, FSU Vice President for Student Affairs and former interim president; Steve Simpson, current political science professor, former 12-year provost, and former interim president; and Karen Keller, current biology professor.

Pat Sanaghan facilitates the task force during the two-day workshop. (TBL/Nick DeMichele)
Pat Sanaghan facilitates the task force during the two-day workshop. (TBL/Nick DeMichele)

Throughout the two-day workshop, Sanaghan led task force members through a variety of exercises aimed at analyzing FSU’s current strategic position and prospects. Specifically, task force members identified recent successes and failures of the university, as well as key questions to be answered throughout the planning process.

The workshop concluded with the creation of small teams tasked with gathering data from a variety of focus groups. These groups, which will be formed in the coming days, will feature a variety of individuals across the university and local community, including students, faculty, staff of all levels, business leaders, parents, alumni, and more. The focus groups will engage in several of the activities conducted during the task force workshop in order to analytically focus the strategic plan.

When asked about the fair amount of transparency evident in the process thus far, FSU President Ronald Nowaczyk stated, “I’m hoping it’s more transparent than any process we’ve done previously. I’m hoping people feel ownership of [the plan].”

Many members of the campus community will be asked to participate in focus groups in the coming weeks. The task force requests that individuals engage in the process as much as possible in order to achieve a holistic picture of Frostburg State University and its stakeholders.


Featured Image: Members of the strategic planning task force engage in a timeline creation activity during the two-day workshop. (TBL/Nick DeMichele)

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