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UIS anticipating second visit from strategic planning group in late November

savarnik Reddy Mareddy

savarnik Reddy Mareddy


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The Center for Organizational and Human Resource Effectiveness (COHRE) will be visiting the UIS campus for the second time from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.

COHRE is a strategic planning group hired by UIS to help develop a new path forward for the university. This plan will replace the previous one established in 2006, which is now “a year into its sunset,” according to Dennis Papini, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, provost, and co-chair of the Strategic Compass Steering Committee (SCSC).

“I think this is really an ideal moment in the history of this young university for us to be having this conversation,” Chancellor Koch said. “We’ve created, together, some really amazing momentum here over the last several years that is even more amazing when you consider what is happening across the rest of the state.” 

COHRE and the university are developing a “strategic compass” rather than a normal “strategic plan.” According to the “Strategic Compass” webpage at, the compass model allows more flexibility than traditional planning techniques.

Papini noted that more rigid plans don’t account for unpredictable influences, like a historic state budget impasse that impacts a public university’s funding. 

COHRE visited the university campus earlier this semester, talking with several focus groups from the SCSC.

The University of Illinois System – which includes UIS, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Illinois Chicago –  implemented a system-wide strategic plan in 2016, though Papini isn’t convinced of its applicability to UIS.

“It’s pretty clear that UIUC, UIC, and UIS are three different kinds of institutions,” Papini said. “I sometimes refer to it as an apple, an orange, and a grape.”

COHRE will continue to visit the campus through spring, meeting with the SCSC focus groups, as well as open groups for students, faculty, and community members outside the SCSC. Additionally, an anonymous survey is scheduled for distribution in April.

Papini said, “This process will only be as good as our ability to engage everybody in the conversation; and it will only be as good as our ability to create an environment in which we feel the ability to speak frankly and honestly without any anxiety about being identified or retaliation.”

COHRE owns the rights the information collected, meaning the results of any confidential surveys or interviews won’t be in the hands of the university. 

The plan will be shared with and vetted by the community in fall 2018.

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UIS anticipating second visit from strategic planning group in late November