The following piece was contributed by Dr. Kevin Frazier
The Dental College of Georgia’s strategic planning process started in the fall of 2015 following the publication of the Augusta University Education Mission Plan in June 2015. Since the college plans were expected to align with the University Strategic Plan and the relevant Mission Plans (Education, Research, and Clinical Care), we were waiting on the release of those mission plans in order to coordinate with them. (The Research Mission Plan was published in March 2016 and the Clinical Mission Plan is still under development at this time).
The first formal strategic planning session occurred on December 4, 2015 at the DCG leadership retreat involving the dental deans and chairs. The general strategic plan concept was discussed and at that time it was determined that our plan would have 6 Strategic Focus Areas tentatively labelled- Education, Research, Clinical Care, Internal Affairs, External Affairs, and Culture/Diversity for alignment with the Strategic Priorities and Goals of Augusta University. Three work groups were created to begin to identify goals within the Education, Research and Clinical Care Strategic Focus Areas. These goals became the first version of our plan which was followed by 5 subsequent versions as more DCG stakeholders became involved.
The data that gave rise to the DCG Strategic Plan goals were derived from a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of issues and conditions related to each focus area, the DCG Strategic Planning Assumptions table, results from campus surveys, “hot topics” discussed in various DCG committee meetings, focus group meetings, Council on Dental Accreditation (CODA) standards, and the Augusta University Strategic Plan and AU Mission Plans.
There were three types of Strategic Planning Teams identified-
The DCG Dean, Associate Deans, and Director of Assessment & Compliance– the DCG Deans’ Group was focused on the higher levels of planning, identifying the Strategic Plan Focus Areas, drafting the new DCG Mission, Vision, and Values, drafting the SWOT Analysis and the Strategic Planning Assumptions Worksheet. They monitored the progress of the other groups and gave final approval to the new plan.
The DCG Department Chairs– the DCG Department Chairs provided feedback on the new DCG Mission, Vision, and Values, the SWOT Analysis, the Strategic Planning Assumptions Worksheet, and refined the Strategic Plan Focus Areas.
Strategic Focus Area Work Groups including DCG Faculty, Staff, and Students– the Strategic Focus Area Work Groups provided feedback on the new DCG Mission, Vison, and Values, and offered extensive and detailed feedback and editing of the Strategic Plan Focus Areas, Goals and the tactics associated with each goal.
Five draft versions of the Strategic Plan were developed throughout 2016 Spring Semester with input from all three planning teams. A sixth draft of the plan was created following input from the chairs on July 6, 2016. Additional editing was completed and after making it available for final comments by the DCG students, staff, and faculty, the final version will be forwarded to campus leadership.
A communication plan for the new strategic plan will be developed following approval by the university and the plan will be reviewed annually for progress and achievements related to fulfilling the goals.