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North Dakota University System Launches Cloud-Based Strategic Planning Solution to Improve Institutional Effectiveness for State's 11 Campuses

BISMARK, ND – Senior administrators with the North Dakota University System (NDUS) face a similar challenge each year. From curriculum development to board meetings to hearings in the state capitol, they’re tasked with aligning strategic planning initiatives for 11 individual schools across the NDUS system.

Earlier this year, the NDUS System Office launched training for Strategic Planning Online, or SPOL. The software suite empowers higher education administrators to coordinate strategic planning efforts and resource allocation with assessment and accreditation, both for individual campuses and across the university system.

“We believe it would be tremendously advantageous for us to be able to access this and pull up data during board meetings or legislative hearings,” says Linda Donlin, vice chancellor of Strategic Engagement. “This could provide updated, real-time measurements of where we are as campuses and as a system in relation to our goals. It will help demonstrate the accountability that our stakeholders expect.”

Many universities and colleges struggle with implementing strategic planning and assessment due to the nature of the work involved and the varied needs of the stakeholders involved in the process. Institutional effectiveness software solutions like SPOL enable institutions to coordinate these efforts.

“We’ve proven that our platform is effective at the institutional level in creating a collaboration point where stakeholders can work together to support strategic planning and continuous improvement,” said Andrew Davies, CEO of Strategic Planning Online. “It’s exciting to see more and more district offices and university systems adopting the technology to align strategic planning, institutional goals, and priorities system-wide.”
Currently in use at some 100 colleges and universities nationwide and abroad, SPOL serves a wide scope of continuous improvement needs for higher education institutions. For NDUS, the solution has empowered the leadership team to align strategic planning and budgeting efforts across the entire system. The software also features faculty credentialing, assessment, and accreditation management functions that are available to the individual NDUS institutions to further improve future institutional effectiveness.

NDUS administrators have found the application promotes a better, more collaborative strategic planning process with a shared understanding of common goals across the entire university system. The software will become a repository for institutional intelligence, storing documents, tracking activities, and offering insight to support collaboration and long-term institutional effectiveness, noted NDUS’s Chris Erickson, who recently wrote about the university system’s planning experience in this blog article.

“The vision of the North Dakota University System leadership team to coordinate strategic planning efforts across their campuses is a clear example of how the environment is changing to provide stakeholders with system-wide services across multiple campuses with significantly greater needs,” says Davies. “We are well prepared to meet those needs, and look forward to supporting their success.”

About NDUS
The North Dakota University System includes 11 unique campuses: two world-class research institutions, four outstanding regional universities and five vibrant community colleges. Whether looking for a certificate program or earning a doctorate, NDUS institutions have the programs and high-quality education that will give students the edge they need to succeed.

About Strategic Planning Online
Strategic Planning Online (SPOL) is a cloud-based software solution designed to help higher education organizations manage key aspects of institutional effectiveness and demonstrate compliance with best practices during the accreditation review process. SPOL combines the key elements of strategic planning, budgeting, assessment, program review, credentialing and accreditation to offer a unified collaborative environment for holistic continuous improvement, providing a framework to support the core requirements associated with accreditation standards and other regulations.

For more information, contact Andrew K. Davies with Strategic Planning Online (866/878-4465) or or Chris Erickson with the North Dakota University System (701/328-1826).

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