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Strategic Plan

Mapping Our Future: Herkimer College Strategic Plan

During the 2009-2010 Academic Year, the College underwent a rigorous strategic planning process. The result of that process was the creation of strategic Goals, Objectives and Action Steps along with key performance measures to create the Herkimer College Strategic Plan 2010-2015: Mapping our Future.

The Plan outlined a shared vision for the future of the College reaffirming our purpose in the face of challenging economic times and changing student demographics. It recognized the importance of remaining current with operational, educational and emerging workforce technologies. The identification of core values, a new mission and vision statements, and strategic performance goals were essential for establishing a culture of assessment across the campus.

The plan serves as a dynamic, day-to-day guide for decision making and resource planning. It was intended to be a rolling plan with Action Steps tied to the institution's budget process and newly identified tasks tied to strategic Objectives with stated measurable outcomes. Outcomes based on pre-established criteria are assessed annually at the end of each spring semester in order to identify those tasks which have been completed, those which are in progress, and those which need to be realigned for the upcoming academic year.

The first cycle of our continuous strategic planning process has been completed. The new Strategic Plan for 2012 - 2017 is listed below.

View our Executive Summary


Herkimer College's five-year Strategic Plan for 2010-2015 [see Appendix A] outlines a shared vision for the future of the College as we reaffirm our purpose in the face of challenging economic times and changing student demographics. It recognizes the importance of remaining current with operational, educational and emerging workforce technologies. "Mapping our Future" requires the cooperative synergy of all areas of the enterprise through the integration of services, cross-pollination of initiatives, the efficient use of facilities and the development of a flexible, multi-skilled staff.

The identification of core values was a critical piece in building a solid foundation upon which to create our strategic plan. New mission and vision statements were constructed and approved by the campus. This allowed us to determine our goals, set our objectives and choose action items consistent with our core values and revised mission and vision statements.

This strategic plan will be used as a dynamic, day-to-day guide for decision making and resource planning. It is a rolling plan with action items tied to the institution's budget process. Outcomes based on pre-established criteria will be assessed annually at the end of each spring semester in order to identify those tasks which have been completed, are in progress, or need to be realigned for the upcoming academic year. Newly identified tasks will be tied to the strategic plan objectives with stated measurable outcomes. Data from the outcome assessment process will be reported in the College's Annual Report and used to evaluate progress toward meeting long-term institutional goals.

Mission Statement

The mission of Herkimer College is to serve our learners by providing high quality, accessible educational opportunities and services in response to the needs of the local and regional communities.

Vision Statement

Herkimer College will continue to be a highly respected teaching and learning institution whose academic excellence will be complemented by a rich offering of co-curricular programming, quality student services and distinction in athletics.

The College will continue to serve the post-secondary education needs of the community and be a key driver in regional economics, capitalizing on the potential of its partnerships and programs in current and emerging fields.

Herkimer College students will exceed expectations in programmatic outcomes, educational core competencies, and critical thinking skills in order to become productive citizens engaged in a global society.

Core Values

To foster a collaborative campus environment that promotes civility, creativity, diversity, open communication, social responsibility, and mutual respect among students, faculty, staff, and the public

To encourage all constituencies of the college community to pursue the highest standards of performance in their academic and professional work.

To embrace the values of honesty, respect, consistency, diversity and responsibility, in order to provide fair and equal treatment for all.

To provide access to quality, affordable lifelong learning opportunities and to maintain an environment that fosters individual growth and development for all.

Strategic Planning Process Summary

Identify Core Values

The strategic planning process began with the identification of guiding principles - "core values." This was accomplished during a workshop attended by 120 members of the faculty and staff, as well as some external partners, in January 2009.

SWOT Analysis
Initial steps also included a survey for obtaining input from the faculty, staff and trustees, and some external stakeholders regarding the College's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). This data was compiled and used as a reference for subsequent planning activities.

Strategic Planning Retreat
Next, a full-day retreat in late August was attended by over 60 participants, resulting in the drafting of six strategic goals for the institution and the establishment of "task forces" that were responsible for developing objectives and corresponding action steps for each of the goals.

Creation Process
The newly formed Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) began its regular meetings with the start-up of the fall 2009 semester and met bi-weekly.

Focus Groups
A series of focus groups with a wide range of more than 500 internal and external stakeholders, including a broad scope of current students, provided additional data. [See focus groups list in Appendix E, pages 3 and 4]

Follow-Up Retreat
A second full-day retreat took place in late November at which the first complete draft of the new strategic plan was finalized. It was presented to the Board of Trustees at their December meeting.

Communicating the Draft Plan
An all-campus meeting was held at the beginning of the spring 2010 semester to provide faculty and staff with an update on the status of the strategic planning process. Throughout the first half of the semester, the SPC and task forces further refined the draft plan; in the first week of April, a second all-campus meeting was held to present the faculty and staff with the final set of five strategic goals. This presentation also included new mission and vision statements that the SPC had been developing throughout the year.

Campus Buy-In
Following the meeting, faculty and staff were asked to approve the strategic goals, mission statement and vision statement via a web-based survey, which was completed by more than 230 people and reflected 95% or higher approval for all items included in the survey.

Performance Measures Set
The Institutional Effectiveness Committee identified internal and external performance measures for each strategic goal. The Executive Council worked together with the Institutional Effectiveness Committee to set benchmarks for each indicator based on existing data and expected performance.

Final Approval
The Executive Council, comprised of senior administrators, gave the proposed final draft of the plan their official approval on June 7. The Board of Trustees was presented with the final draft of the strategic plan at their April meeting, and a workshop was scheduled for mid-June for the Board to review the plan, and either approve or make recommendations for further revisions. The Board of Trustees officially approved the Strategic Plan on June 17, 2010.

Each of the five goals is assigned to one of the College's senior administrators (e.g. President, Vice President, or Dean) who will have the responsibility of overseeing progress being made on fulfilling the set of objectives corresponding to his/her goal. Similarly, each Objective for each Strategic Goal is assigned to either an upper level administrator (e.g. Associate or Assistant Dean, or Program Director), or a senior level administrator, who will be responsible for overseeing progress made toward accomplishing the Objective. Each Objective also has "supporting units" assigned to it to help accomplish the Objective. An anticipated timeframe for the accomplishment of each Objective has also been identified. As with the Objectives, supporting units responsible for carrying out Action Steps have also been identified, along with corresponding anticipated timeframes for implementation. Supporting units may include external partners of the College that will be asked to assume roles in the implementation of certain aspects of the Plan (e.g. regional BOCES and school district superintendents).

The Executive Council has established an implementation structure that assigns responsibility for the oversight of every aspect of the plan. Oversight for each of the five Strategic Goals is assigned to one of the College's senior administrators. Similarly, oversight for each of the Strategic Goals' Objectives is assigned to either a senior administrator, or an upper-level supervisor (e.g. Associate Dean, Program Director). The Objectives and their related Action Steps also have “supporting units” assigned to them for their implementation and accomplishment. The Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) has a schedule of regular meetings to review the status of the implementation structure and provide regular updates. The SPC also hosts an annual workshop/retreat in the spring to review status of the Plan and formulate recommendations for adjustments for the President and the Executive Council to consider. Additional sustainability and oversight for the Strategic Plan results from its linkage to the College's annual budget process that connects specific budget line items with one or more Strategic Goals. Together with these links, the Strategic Plan, which includes the College's Mission Statement and Core Values, provides an overall context of strategic priorities for guiding the resource allocation process.

Strategic Goals

Academic Programs & Support
Promote student success through relevant programs and support services within an enriched teaching and learning environment

Campus Life
Cultivate a campus environment that complements the academic mission, enhances student development, and provides broad social and educational experiences

Institutional Culture
Encourage and sustain a campus culture where the core values of the College are embraced, implemented and rewarded

Operational Sustainability
Enhance operational sustainability through creative planned growth

Outreach & Community Relations
Cultivate mutually beneficial relationships within the community and enhance the image of Herkimer College

Strategic Goal Measurements

1. Academic Programs & Support: Promote student success through relevant programs and support services within an enriched teaching and learning environment

Measurements for Academic Programs & Support:

  • Using the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the graduation rates of FT/FT degree/certificate seeking within normal time will increase by 1% annually, and those within 150% or 200% of normal time will decrease by 1% annually.
  • Using General Education assessments, 75% or more of students enrolled in the courses randomly selected for assessment will rank in the “meets or exceeds standards” category.
  • Using the triennial faculty-staff survey, opinion of the classroom environment will remain at 4 or above out of a scale of 0-5, 5 being high.
  • Using the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) assessment round 2011-12, Herkimer will be at or above its peers often/very often and/or quite a bit or very much in the following categories: prompt feedback from instructors; satisfaction with advising/planning; student perception of instructors as available, helpful, and sympathetic; and students perception of administrative personnel and offices.
  • Using the College Now Graduate Follow-up Study, high school students enrolled in the concurrent bridge program will score at 3.0 or above on a scale of 4.0 annually in exposure to high academic standards and a more realistic expectation of college work.
  • By 2012-2013, 75% of full-time students will have completed one online course.
  • Using the SUNY MAJOR review process, 100% of the final programmatic self-study reviews will be submitted within the predetermined timeframe and will identify adequate relevance of the academic program.

2. Campus Life: Cultivate a campus environment that complements the academic mission, enhances student development, and provides broad social and educational experiences

Measurements for Campus Life:

  • Using CCSSE, encouraging contact with different economic, social, and racial or ethnic backgrounds will reach 65% or better in the combined categories of quite a bit and very much by 2011-12.
  • Using the data reported by the Office of Student Activities, the annual number of social and educational experiences through clubs and organizations scheduled will equal or exceed the previous year.
  • Using CCSSE, student response to the support they need to thrive socially in the combined categories of quite a bit and very much will increase by 1% per year.
  • Using the Graduate Follow-up Survey, student satisfaction as it relates to faculty-student relationships will remain at or above 98% in the combined categories of very satisfied and satisfied during the next assessment round in 2010-11.

3. Institutional Culture: Encourage and sustain a campus culture where the core values of the College are embraced, implemented and rewarded

Measurements for Institutional Culture:

  • Using CCSSE, student response to the support needed to help them succeed at Herkimer will increase annually by 1% in the combined categories of quite a bit and very much.
  • Using Herkimer's Faculty-Staff Opinion Survey, the measure of how employees perceive the use of assessment information to improve teaching and related educational services will increase to 4.0 or higher out of a scale of 0 to 5, 5 being high, by 2010-11.
  • Using Herkimer's Faculty-Staff Opinion Survey, the measure of the employee perception of Herkimer(tm)s environment of ethical behavior will increase to 4.0 or higher out of a scale of 0 to 5, 5 being high, by 2010-11.
  • Using CCSSE, 85% of the students will evaluate their entire educational experience at Herkimer in the categories of quite a bit and very much.
  • Using the Office of Postsecondary Education's Campus Security Data Analysis for Herkimer, arrests and disciplinary actions will decrease by 10% annually.

4. Operational Sustainability: Enhance operational sustainability through creative planned growth

Measurements for Operational Sustainability:

  • Herkimer will grow the unrestricted, unreserved fund balance by the equivalent of 1/2 week of expenses per year.
  • Using annual internal enrollment reports on-campus, Internet Academy, and College Now enrollments will remain steady.
  • Using IPEDS, full-time student retention data will annually indicate Herkimer above its peers in retention.
  • Using the facilities annual report and the Fiscal 2008-09 baseline BTU, energy used (BTUs) will decrease 1% annually.

5. Outreach & Community Relations: Cultivate mutually beneficial relationships within the community and enhance the image of Herkimer College

Measurements for Outreach & Community Relations:

  • Using CCSSE, student contribution to the community through volunteer work will grow by 1% annually.
  • As reported in the Office of Community Education annual report, non-credit registrations will increase 5% by 2012-13; booking of rooms and facilities will increase by 5% annually; and in comparison to 2008-09 data, workforce development participants will increase 25% by 2010-11.
  • Using the locally developed Entering Student Survey, the percentage of students employed in the surrounding communities will remain at 50% or higher.

Annual Report Card

In order to assess the College's progress toward achieving its strategic goals and objectives and to provide data to be used in the evaluation and continuous improvement of the College's Strategic Plan, an Institutional Effectiveness Report Card with complete key performance indicator measures will be produced annually and distributed to members of the College's Board of Trustees, Executive Council and Strategic Planning Committee. The Report Card results will also be made accessible to the general campus community via the College's intranet. The Report Card was developed by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee, as well as through consultation with other college offices and personnel.


  • The college projects enrollment growth in credit courses and programming to increase by 2% each year of the plan. It also anticipates that non-credit revenue will increase by 5% each year.
  • Projected enrollment for 2015 will be 3,100 full-time equivalent students with future projections to maintain enrollment at this level, considering the challenging regional demographic predictions.
  • The fund balance will be within the accepted range of 5-15% by 2015.


In reaching our goal of 3100 FTE within the next five years, the College will have to recognize the following challenges: 

  • State finances will thwart development of new programs and threaten our ability to sustain our present level of funding. 
  • Sponsor support will remain level or may decrease.
  • Heavy competition for students exists, with several public and private two- and four-year colleges located within a 50-mile radius. 
  • Demographically, the local student population will decrease by *17% over the next 10 years.
  • Increased dependence on the enrollment of out-of-county, out-of-state and international students will require additional access to housing, primarily on campus but also in the community. 
  • Facility maintenance and technology replacement and acquisition will require funding. During the next 10 years, the College will have to work to maintain its 3100 FTE enrollment goal and realizes that additional investments must be made to increase that enrollment figure:
    • New methods for the delivery of teaching and earning degrees, to include rolling admissions and compressed courses
    • Attention to the needs of student housing based on enrollment demographics
    • Transportation both to campus and on campus, including roadways, parking and maintenance 

Certain unique challenges face us: 

  • The county economy may not allow for the sponsor to assist the College in its growth.
  • The present capital funding process requires a 50% match from the local sponsor.
  • The demand for hands-on programs for local students at the AAS level is inconsistent with the availability of local employment.
  • Capacity at transfer institutions may impact student transfer success and cause a decrease in the largest enrolled program on campus, Liberal Arts: General Studies.
  • Working with the community to maintain a positive image of the College.


Mapping our Future: Herkimer College Strategic Plan 2010-2015 [Appendix A] captures the vision and plans for the future of the college after months of meetings and surveys involving multiple internal and external stakeholders [Appendix B]. We are grateful to all our campus members who worked diligently to come to consensus on what Herkimer must do to meet the challenges of the future while remaining true to its mission and vision [Appendix E]. We are grateful for our community partners, both public and private, who gave valuable time and critical thought in making suggestions to our plan.

The plan maps our course for moving the College forward and holds each department and division accountable for meeting those plans. It allows for annual assessment of performance based on established indicators while providing flexibility to revisit each objective annually and identify the next round of action items. This annual assessment will ensure that we meet our objectives and provide opportunity to proactively determine our next steps. We will measure our success [Appendix D], using our performance indicators, chart our progress, and communicate the outcomes to all constituents through our annual Institutional Effectiveness Report Card [Appendix C].

We have mapped our future and know that this plan will direct us as we strive to uphold our strategic goals. We look toward meeting our objectives through completion of our action items. With the highest degree of integrity and a commitment to excellence, we expect this plan will provide the best opportunity for all members of our expansive community and for the future success of Herkimer College.


Appendix A: Mapping Our Future: Herkimer College Strategic Plan 2013 - 2018
Appendix B: Strategic Planning Process Flow Chart
Appendix C: Strategic Planning Process
Appendix D: Institutional Effectiveness Report Card
Appendix E: Key Performance Indicator Measures
Appendix F: Participants in the Strategic Planning Process
Appendix G: Alignment with the SUNY Strategic Plan and MSCHE Standards
Appendix H: Implementation Matrix
Appendix I - Strategic Plan Implementation Guide

Contact: Daniel Sargent, strategicplanning@herkimer.edu