The Official Launch of the Strategic Planning Initiative

During the annual Fall Faculty and Staff Convocation (2008), Alcorn State University officially launched its strategic planning initiative and formally introduced The Barthwell Group as the team chosen to guide this initiative. Dr. Akosua Evans, CEO of the Barthwell Group briefly described what the strategic planning process will look like at Alcorn and introduced other members of her team who were present.

As attendees entered the ballroom at the beginning of the convocation, they were given a packet of information, including a random number. At a designated point in the program, attendees broke into several discussion groups (based on the number they received), lead by members of the Barthwell Group and designated Alcorn faculty or administrators.

Each focus group immediately set about the task of discussing the perceptions and realities of Alcorn, identifying strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities -- and venturing to envision what the institution would look like in 10 years, were there no obstacles to progress. The Barthwell Group took the results from each group and compiled them for presentation in a future meeting. However, as employees compared notes on the discussions of their groups, many were intrigued by both the number of common themes expressed and the broad scope of ideas and visions shared by their colleagues.

One of the important elements of successful strategic planning shared by Dr. Evans is inclusiveness. This well structured exercise allowed all in attendance to play an active role in the process, and faculty and staff were pleased with the opportunity to share their thoughts, visions and passions about Alcorn.