Listening and Learning Tour
President Neufeldt conducted a Listening and Learning tour as one of her first presidential priorities in 2019 to learn about the needs of the CSUSM community. This tour included nearly 200 events such as open forums with students, faculty, staff, and administrators, meetings with community partners and elected officials, athletic events, community events, and more. At each event, information was gathered about the needs and expectations of University stakeholders.
MGT representatives conducted eight virtual focus groups between November 16, 2020 and March 29, 2021 with approximately 100 participants. The seven focus groups were held with a variety of groups to gather insight including: CSUSM Strategic Planning Committee, University Cabinet, University Council, Foundation Board, Senior Managers, Student Success and Retention Committee, Employee Care Stakeholders, Executive Committee of the Academic Senate, and Associated Students, Inc. Focus groups were scheduled for an hour and MGT used Zoom, Polleverywhere, video, audio, and chat to engage stakeholders and capture feedback and insight on CSUSM’s Strategic Plan. Two additional focus groups were facilitated by some members of the steering committee with community leaders of social justice grassroots organizations.
CSUSM provided a list of key stakeholders and MGT worked with CSUSM to develop and approve an interview guide. MGT conducted one-on-one interviews via Microsoft Teams and completed 17 interviews between January 29 and March 31, 2021. Interviewees included donors, staff members, faculty, local government officials, community association leaders, alumni, community college leaders, industry leaders, and students. Through individual interviews, MGT captured insight on goals for the new strategic plan; thoughts on how to define student success; social mobility and innovation success; the greatest strength of the University; distinctions; the culture; prioritization of resources; the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion; investment of time and effort; critical issues; the future; the brick-and-mortar nature of the institution; and additional insights.
MGT worked with CSUSM to design a web-based survey for faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members using Qualtrics. The purpose of the survey was to collect respondents’ demographic information, information on the campus’ greatest strengths, greatest challenges, priority areas of focus, thoughts on defining student success, and top elements for the new strategic plan. To notify potential respondents, CSUSM sent an e-mail message to the campus community inviting them to respond. The survey was available to faculty, staff, and students from February 11, 2021 until February 25, 2021. With 1,678 total responses from a distribution list of approximately 21,100, the survey achieved an approximate 7.9% response rate. The full distribution list was inclusive of students who may no longer be enrolled on campus or of transient students who are unlikely to engage, lowering the response rate.
Alumni, community members, Native Advisory Council, and other external members of the CSUSM community were provided the same survey but permitted an extended period of time to participate, with the survey window open from February 11, 2021 through March 29, 2021. Potential respondents were invited by e-mail message by the campus, through the Alumni Association, and through the Native Advisory Council. A total of 340 responses were obtained.
President Neufeldt hosted a Town Hall on February 2, 2021 to kick off the strategic planning process. CSUSM provided notes from those engagements and MGT summarized responses in this report. MGT also conducted a second Town Hall on Feb. 26th, 2021 to validate, verify, and extend information collected from the interviews. The discussion focused on defining student success, the mission, the vision, and the campus climate statement. MGT collected input through Poll Everywhere, note taking, and chat box responses.
On two occasions, the World Café process brought people together around questions that matter to CSUSM. The methodology can be described as strategic dialogue. Together, in conversation participants collectively weaved a vision for how to serve students and the region over the next five to ten years. The World Cafes confirmed prior insight and extended the opportunity for stakeholders to clarify thoughts and priorities surrounding the strategic plan.
CSUSM also collected feedback through a website to offer an additional avenue for stakeholders to participate in the strategic planning process.
Strategic Plan Steering Committee
The committee met in spring and summer 2021 to facilitate opportunities for broad campus input, distill feedback and develop the draft strategic plan document.