Augustana has a clear, participatory planning culture in which planning is a collaborative effort, coordinated among four major constituencies: the Board of Trustees, the President and the President's Cabinet, the faculty, and administrative departments.
In establishing mission-related goals, ultimate decision-making authority rests with the Board of Trustees. The board vests operational responsibilities in the President of the college. As a member of the board, the president has a special leadership role in defining the official vision and goals for the college. President Bahls has committed the institution to the transparent and inclusive planning process modeled through our development of the strategic plan, mandated by the board's 2002 vision statement, Advancing Augustana. A strategic planning committee developed a planning model. We reviewed existing institutional research and conducted an environmental scan, studied the demographic transitions affecting Midwestern colleges, evaluated other strategic plans of four comparable institutions and conducted informational sessions on campus. We conducted Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analyses from input by all college constituencies (including nearly 2,400 alumni). The president drafted a plan in the summer of 2004, which was distributed to the campus community, discussed widely and redrafted several times. The final draft was submitted to the board and approved in early 2005. The strategic plan will guide the administration in all major decision-making.
Major decisions impacting the academic side of the college's operations require approval by a majority of voting faculty members. The Faculty Handbook statement of the rights and responsibilities of the faculty has been revised recently. Other documents that set forth rules of authority and governance include the recently revised Staff Handbook, and a Department Chair's Handbook now near completion. Parliamentary procedures are observed during all senate, division and full faculty meetings. The six divisions (Fine and Performing Arts; History, Philosophy and Religion; Language and Literature; Natural Science; Social Science; Business and Education) have had considerable authority in the past to determine the nature of their academic programs. The emphasis on this divisional structure recently has been altered by the adoption of a new General Education program stressing interdisciplinary connections. The General Education Committee has oversight of this curriculum, and curricular change must be approved by the Educational Policies Committee and the Faculty Senate.
Administrative departments use clearly defined staffing structures and reporting lines to enhance effective communication and efficiency of operations. This organizational structures are clearly diagrammed.