“Penn State units moving forward with strategic plan implementation”

BobPSU92

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May 6, 2015
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See the link below. From the article:

“UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Nearly 60 budget units comprising Penn State’s campuses, academic colleges and various administrative offices have developed their strategic plans and are preparing to move forward with plan implementation.

After Penn State introduced its revised institutional strategic plan in December 2019, units were asked to develop their own strategic plans to support and advance the University’s plan and make their contributions visible, which will help tell the story of Penn State’s impact.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic challenged units to ascertain if their plans were viable now and could be achieved over time, their perseverance and resilience proved that we could stay the course, ‘bounce forward’ and thrive through adversity,” said Nick Jones, executive vice president and provost. “This is a moment to celebrate and in which we all can take pride, as we have strategic plans that will move us forward into the next five years.”

By following the University’s strategic plan structure and planning process, units can support each other in a more informed manner. They also can seek opportunities to bolster their efforts by leaning on other units’ resources, leveraging Penn State’s unique structure and breaking down barriers that could impede the work of the institutional plan as outlined in its foundations, thematic priorities, and supporting elements.”



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BW Lion

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Apr 9, 2020
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In my experience, bottom-up strategic or budgetary planning rarely works and frequently causes bigger problems than doing nothing at all.

60 different “budget units” each with their own unique strategic plans. :rolleyes:

This reeks of non-leadership from PSU senior administration.
 

TheBigUglies

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Jan 13, 2004
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Does anyone have any info on fall enrollment numbers? I have heard many say instead of PSU, they kept their kids home and they went to local community college because why pay PSU tuition when community college is cheaper. Just curious to see how that affected incoming classes. I am sensing enrollment is down because PSU seems to be offering less sections of freshman classes.
 

BudatPSU

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Aug 16, 2002
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What did that cost? 60 plan books put up on a shelf never to be looked at again until the next administration initiates another round of strategic planning and then someone will throw them out to make room for the new plans.

How many times did I participate in that waste of time and effort while I was still working.
 

Thomas1945

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Jul 1, 2018
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In my experience, bottom-up strategic or budgetary planning rarely works and frequently causes bigger problems than doing nothing at all.

60 different “budget units” each with their own unique strategic plans. :rolleyes:

This reeks of non-leadership from PSU senior administration.
I strongly disagree. It’s obvious that PSU senior administrators are beginning, to possibly undertake a potentially actual review of possible multi faceted, potential issues, real or imagined. This bold initiative will encompass utilizing the experience and expertise of lower level administrators who report to them. Thus allowing and encouraging various extremely controlled input that provides for plausible deniably, and ready made scapegoats should any action whatsoever be implemented. At this time, leadership is interviewing several BOT affiliated consulting firms to review said proposals before they are officially shelved, and tuition is raised to cover the cost of this exercise.
 

BobPSU92

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May 6, 2015
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I strongly disagree. It’s obvious that PSU senior administrators are beginning, to possibly undertake a potentially actual review of possible multi faceted, potential issues, real or imagined. This bold initiative will encompass utilizing the experience and expertise of lower level administrators who report to them. Thus allowing and encouraging various extremely controlled input that provides for plausible deniably, and ready made scapegoats should any action whatsoever be implemented. At this time, leadership is interviewing several BOT affiliated consulting firms to review said proposals before they are officially shelved, and tuition is raised to cover the cost of this exercise.

As long as it’s done at great cost, we shouldn’t question it.
 

NittanySlappy

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Aug 30, 2001
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Does anyone have any info on fall enrollment numbers? I have heard many say instead of PSU, they kept their kids home and they went to local community college because why pay PSU tuition when community college is cheaper. Just curious to see how that affected incoming classes. I am sensing enrollment is down because PSU seems to be offering less sections of freshman classes.
I spoke to an admissions person a few months ago and she said this was the most competitive year in volume and quality of candidates they can remember. She said they were receiving more applications from Ivy qualified students than ever before.
 
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basic blues

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Sep 23, 2010
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In my experience, bottom-up strategic or budgetary planning rarely works and frequently causes bigger problems than doing nothing at all.

60 different “budget units” each with their own unique strategic plans. :rolleyes:

This reeks of non-leadership from PSU senior administration.
Who said anything about “bottom up”
 

NittPicker

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Jun 30, 2001
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I love corporate speak. Throw together a bunch of smart sounding words which don't say much and are really only saying the same thing as last year. And the year before that. And the year before that.
 
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NittPicker

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I read the full release and saw this gem...

“Support for the strategic plan articulated in unit plans shows how the institutional plan is working through unit efforts,” Jones said. “It also reveals what the University is doing in tangible ways to show our ongoing commitment to impact.”

WTF is that?? Apparently the strategic plan within the unit plan within the institutional plan is doing what it's supposed to be doing because of unit efforts. Again, WTF is that?? It seems the "plan" is a convoluted matryoshka doll.

And I guess we're supposed to go happy about the "ongoing commitment to impact". Again. WTF is that??
 

BobPSU92

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May 6, 2015
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I read the full release and saw this gem...

“Support for the strategic plan articulated in unit plans shows how the institutional plan is working through unit efforts,” Jones said. “It also reveals what the University is doing in tangible ways to show our ongoing commitment to impact.”

WTF is that?? Apparently the strategic plan within the unit plan within the institutional plan is doing what it's supposed to be doing because of unit efforts. Again, WTF is that?? It seems the "plan" is a convoluted matryoshka doll.

And I guess we're supposed to go happy about the "ongoing commitment to impact". Again. WTF is that??

Please take this opportunity to give early, often, and in large sums.
 

basic blues

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Sep 23, 2010
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Nearly 60 budget units comprising Penn State’s campuses, academic colleges and various administrative offices have developed their strategic plans
Yes. But just possibly strategic planning started at the University level and then units were to devise their own plans to align with the overall University plan.
 

NittPicker

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Yes. But just possibly strategic planning started at the University level and then units were to devise their own plans to align with the overall University plan.
I'm all for delegating authority when necessary but all these plans mean nobody really has a plan. I guess someone devised a theoretical overall university plan with no idea how to implement it. So the people lower on the pyramid were told to come up with their own plans to help implement to overall strategic plan. Those people say, "Fu@k if I know what to do." So then they devise their own theoretical plan of how to support the overall theoretical plan. They push it further down their part of the pyramid and tell their subordinates to come up with a plan to help implement the plan. Nobody at the top of the pyramid has the imagination or courage to say, "This is the plan. Here is what I expect everyone to do in order to implement it."

Leadership in academia. Oxymoron.
 

BobPSU92

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May 6, 2015
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Yes. But just possibly strategic planning started at the University level and then units were to devise their own plans to align with the overall University plan.

Happens in large corporations all the time.
 

Media Fan

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Until the school becomes cost competitive, this kind of exercise is meaningless.
PSU’s continued poor management sooner or later must end, or our academic competitiveness will continue in the wrong direction.
 

RGWhirly

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Jul 30, 2017
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Until the school becomes cost competitive, this kind of exercise is meaningless.
PSU’s continued poor management sooner or later must end, or our academic competitiveness will continue in the wrong direction.

I wouldn’t say it is meaningless because there are organizations within Penn State that take the development of their strategic plan seriously, put a lot of thought into it, and attempt to be good stewards of resources, funds, etc. To your point though, some organizations do it just to do it because they have to and do not put that sincere effort into it.
 

bison13

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Dec 22, 2007
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I spoke to an admissions person a few months ago and she said this was the most competitive year in volume and quality of candidates they can remember. She said they were receiving more applications from Ivy qualified students than ever before.
Wow. I honestly cant believe that. I have student who is one of my bottom 3 non ap calc students. Probably won't test in to anything above algebra 2.

He was admitted to university park campus for this fall. Sub 3.5 gpa, under 1150 on sat. Back up lineman for football but no other extra-curricular or clubs. Told me they gave him 5k financial aid as an out of state so hes not going.
 

Art

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May 29, 2001
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Wow. I honestly cant believe that. I have student who is one of my bottom 3 non ap calc students. Probably won't test in to anything above algebra 2.

He was admitted to university park campus for this fall. Sub 3.5 gpa, under 1150 on sat. Back up lineman for football but no other extra-curricular or clubs. Told me they gave him 5k financial aid as an out of state so hes not going.

The HS at which my wife teaches tracks the academic credentials by school of admitted students. Been doing this for about ten years. Trend for PSU has been inexorably down and no better this year. And just in case anyone thinks to ask, this is a district in which money is seldom an object.
 
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Media Fan

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I spoke to an admissions person a few months ago and she said this was the most competitive year in volume and quality of candidates they can remember. She said they were receiving more applications from Ivy qualified students than ever before.
For applications maybe. But that is irrelevant imo. What is the matriculation rate of those applicants ( that is how many actually attend the school). Kids apply all over the place these days.
Also, our acceptance rate at something like 60% ( a guess by me) is very high compared to other, smaller universities of high quality.
imo, it is silly to compare a large public university with say 40,000 students to a small elite school - say like Princeton- with 5,000 students.
 
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Art

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Are these trends consistently down for most schools or is PSU exhibiting an especially glaring case of lower standards?
Most are flat i.e. the points plotted tend to cluster pretty tightly. Schools exhibiting a noticeable upward trend are Rutgers, Delaware, Maryland, UNC, Northeastern, Northwestern, UNC, Pitt, and TCNJ. Other schools with downward trends include Miami, Indiana, and Arizona. Lots, maybe most, don't have enough data points from which to draw a conclusion.
 
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LionJim

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Levittown, PA to Olney, MD
Most are flat i.e. the points plotted tend to cluster pretty tightly. Schools exhibiting a noticeable upward trend are Rutgers, Delaware, Maryland, UNC, Northeastern, Northwestern, UNC, Pitt, and TCNJ. Other schools with downward trends include Miami, Indiana, and Arizona. Lots, maybe most, don't have enough data points from which to draw a conclusion.
Disappointing any way you slice it, I guess.
 

Art

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Disappointing any way you slice it, I guess.
My wife reviewed the data with the head of guidance to see if there were any anomalies they could identify (Vandy, of all places, has one, but if I told you I'd get killed). Schools which become unpopular, for who knows which of a myriad of reasons, simply have few or no data points for recent years. PSU remains popular, but the dots have decidedly moved away from the upper right quadrant.

It's one high school, so take it for what it's worth.
 
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