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Northern State University (NSU) retained the consulting services of Sioux Falls-

based Sumption & Wyland, LLC and Sage Project Consultants, LLC, to conduct

a multi-phase strategic planning process on its behalf. Beginning in May 2014,

the process was initiated with a preliminary environmental scan of comparable

institutions within the region, and then followed up with a Senior Cabinet Retreat

wherein high-level areas of inquiry were defined and the basis for the data

collection phase of the process was established. The data collection elements

were designed based on best practices from the industry of strategic planning, and

relative experience of the consultants. The methods were later adapted to best fit

the availability of data and participation of stakeholders.

Upon initial project design (Fall 2013 with revisions April 2014) a series of activities were identified

by the consultants that would collectively inform the formulation of goals and objectives for the new

strategic plan of NSU. These activities as noted in the proposal included a number of key outcomes and

deliverables. The activities were adjusted to best match the availability and accessibility of data.

A total of 10 focus groups were conducted in support of the strategic planning process, including the

following key constituency groups:

• Athletics (1 focus group)

• Current sophomores and juniors (2 focus groups, 68 surveys)

• Current international students (6 focus groups, 2 surveys)

• Current student senate members (5 focus groups, 4 surveys)

• Faculty (2 sessions) (9 focus groups, 45 surveys)

• Staff (2 sessions) (3 focus groups, 63 surveys)

• Parents of Prospective Students (anecdotal; few participants)

• Prospective Students (anecdotal; few participants)