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Shippensburg University 2021-2024
Strategic Planning Process

The 2021 – 2024 Strategic Planning Process for Shippensburg University addresses the tremendous shifts in higher education and responds intentionally to these changesThis website reveals a snapshot in time. While this planning process continues, this website will also be continually updated. 

Shippensburg is a student-centered university that takes a hands-on approach to supporting all members of the campus family.  This is evident in the personalized attention our students receive, the passion from our strong alumni network, and the positive impact we have in our town, state and region. Ship is committed to welcoming and supporting students, faculty and staff from many different backgrounds who contribute a diverse range of perspectives, abilities, talents and cultures to our vibrant teaching and learning community.  Our commitment to excellence, equity, and engagement continue to fuel the innovation demonstrated in our unique academic offerings and student/faculty engagements designed to inspire and equip our students to thrive in an ever-changing world.  It is from this position that we look to plan for Ship’s future.

Strategic Report (Current Draft)

Click here to review the most recent version of the strategic report, which will undergo continuous revision based on ongoing feedback at the heart of our process.

Managing the Process

To manage this massive undertaking, the process has been broken up into different areas and timeline tiers. This began with the formation of the Strategic Planning Oversight Committee by President Carter, which oversees the planning process.

  • This group manages the overall work of the planning process overseeing four distinct working groups. These insight teams are comprised of individuals from many parts of campus which are broken up by the four priorities as founded in the 2018 visioning report.
Four Priorities
  • Each priority became the basis for an Insight Team.  Led by co-chairs also serving on the Oversight Committee, each group benefits from the talents of carefully selected staff, students, and over a dozen faculty. 

  • This timeline goes into full detail the deliverables and expectations of the Insight Teams. It is a way to manage the process as a whole and explains the steps each team has taken.

Strategic Planning Oversight Committee (SPOC) Co-Chairs

The planning process is guided by a Strategic Planning Oversight Committee (SPOC), which is led by two co-chairs who are joined by a Dean, a Subject Matter Expert (Dr. Peter Garland), and eight co-chairs of working teams drawn from across campus. The SPOC is being defined by the recognition of the culture of contributions that has long existed at Ship.

Provost Dr. Tom Ormond (Academic Master Plan), Dr. Stephanie Jirard (DEI Plan), the Deans of the Colleges, Mr. Chris Clarke (Facilities Plan), Dr. Justin Sentz (University IT Plan), Dr. Eric Zeglen (Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness) and other subject matter experts will join the SPOC during Tier 2 of the Strategic Planning Process.

Neil Connelly 

Professor of English
Message From the

Ship’s current strategic plan is sunsetting this year, so together, we must plot a new course for our school’s future. The next Strategic Plan’s creation comes at a crucial time:  Among other challenges, the nation is simultaneously managing a pandemic and struggling to confront systemic injustice and promote equity.  Our academic world confronts serious questions about the role of technology, the impending drop in high school graduates, and the State System’s redesign. All this heightens the demand for a clear and decisive direction. This will emerge from a review of Ship’s existing strengths and priorities as a result of a carefully designed process that includes input and feedback from a host of stakeholders—students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and community members.   

Sue Mukherjee

Senior Vice President for Strategy & Success


Unveiling SPOC

Professor Connelly discusses the work the SPOC has done and continues to do, as the Strategic Plan Document takes shape.


SPOC Document

Since the unveiling, the Strategic Planning Oversight Committee Document (SPOC DOC) underwent near constant revision over six months as feedback was incorporated, providing an ever-evolving guide to the process that culminated with the initial draft of the Strategic Plan Report.



Four Priorities

The four university priorities recognized by the Visioning Report as integral to our academic identity define our work in the initial phase include:

In each of these areas, more than 15 faculty, staff, students, and alumni have been exploring these priorities further, including developing definitions, exploring underlying values, and identifying sources (research, data, and evidence) to inform the work of these Insight Teams.   


To manage this large and critical project, we have divided the effort into two distinct tiers: 

  • Tier 1 which culminates in August 2021 will produce Shippensburg University’s vision and mission statement, university values, and strategic objectives.  
  • Tier 2 will align all university plans and produce goals and metrics to attach to our strategic objectives  to ensure we are achieving our established vision and mission. 

Tier 1: Timeline and Deliverables

Insight Team, Co-Chair, Chair meeting with President Carter.

Expert Advisory Group identified (invitations sent by February 20).

Individual priority profiles and recommendations submitted by Insight Team Co-Chairs to SPOC.

Insight Team reports due.

SPOC Executive Summary Due submitted to  EMT, APSCUF President, President, governance groups, PLA, and campus community.

Revised SPOC Executive Summary submitted to EMT, APSCUF President, and President. Following, it is submitted to the SPP Expert Advisory Group (Foundation, Alumni, Community).

Feedback and Revisions (including conversion of Insight Team recommendations into Strategic Objectives and Values). Draft of Strategic Plan 2021-2024 (Tier 1) developed. 

Presentation of Ship Strategic Plan (Vision, Mission, Strategic Objectives) to Council of Trustees. 

Tier 2: 

Tier 2 of Shippensburg University’s Strategic Planning Process will entail grounding the strategic objectives developed from Tier 1 with relevant metrics and creating or aligning university plans to the new strategic plan. One critical need is for the University to develop a comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan. Alignment will include but not be limited to: Program Planning and Budget & Facilities Master Plan, Academic Master Plan, Strategic Enrollment Management Plan, Technology & Library Plan, Athletics Master Plan, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Human Services, and the College of Business Strategic Plan. 


“If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.”  

- Latin Proverb

Contact the Office of the President

Shippensburg University 1871 Old Main Drive Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1301 Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.