Strategic Plan Implementation
The implementation of Vision 2028 reflects a pragmatic approach to capture the means by which we document successes along the road to continuous improvement within the Black School of Business. We originally created a committee structure in the Black School of Business to be action-oriented teams for implementing the strategic priorities.
Each year, strategic plan committees evaluate the program on action steps associated with our goals, identifying progress made, and modify as necessary based on emerging opportunities or trends consistent with our vision.
Our strategic priorities include the following:
Recruit and retain a diverse, high-quality, and motivated student body that is eager to learn and embrace sustainability.
Design and implement relevant, high-impact, and innovative programs for both undergraduate and graduate students that leverage collaboration with internal and external constituencies.
Develop impactful co-curricular and career advancement programs to assist students in achieving career placement and post-graduate success.
Attract and retain a diverse and professionally engaged faculty and administrative staff whose goals are aligned with our mission and vision. Our faculty will be research active with strong school support.
Broaden and deepen engagement of corporate partners, alumni, and government agencies to support the execution of our vision and to actively market and communicate our brand.
Efficiently align the organizational structure, incentives, and policies with our mission to deliver on our vision.
Embed sustainability ideals within all facets of our curriculum, research, service, and internal operations.
We are thrilled with the results of our collective efforts. While causality is difficult to confirm, anecdotal evidence—in the record enrollments in the Black School of Business, in the number of underclassmen who have declared themselves to be pre-business (Behrend), and in the results of program reviews conducted of alumni, employers, and current students—suggests that activities associated with our plan are contributing holistically to a dynamic and successful center for learning and innovation.
Our Business Advisory Board helps launch strategic initiatives at the Black School of Business and assists us in directing our resources most effectively. During 2016-2023, the Board has undergone two major transitions, with the formation of an executive council and introduction of four committees tied to strategic initiatives, each committee having active input in decision-making and opportunities for feedback on proposed initiatives within the school.
We have already witnessed successes with the size of the Intrieri Family Student Managed Fund reaching $1 million in assets, which has made it possible to start offering student scholarships since 2022. We continue to expand upon our Innovating through Collaboration (ITC) projects, Executive-in-Residence program, and our Hiring and Discovery Labs that are hallmarks of our work with industry partnerships. We established a student professional development program that tracks students’ co-curricular activities to help them prepare for the professional business world. We have awarded funds to more than 150 students to support them in attaining widely valued and recognized professional certifications and designations. We are making significant impact and progress on several initiatives including outreach to the community (e.g., outreach programs for 7th-12th grade students to facilitate engagement and promote active learning and innovation), sustainability, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Black School of Business is now home to four nationally recognized centers: the Economic Research Institute of Erie (ERIE) Research Center, Partnership Erie (PE) Outreach Center, and the two newest Centers, the Center for Family Business and the Center for Financial Literacy, both established in 2021, providing a significant positive impact on the regional community, business, and society at large.
In 2018, we undertook an extensive study of our mission, vision, and strategy. The result was the school’s strategic plan (Vision 2023), which was implemented via 100 strategic initiatives during 2018-2023. In 2022, the Strategic Planning Task Force performed a comprehensive review of Vision 2023 and created a new strategic plan (Vision 2028) to proactively meet the demands of the changing environment and support continuous improvement. Keeping the Behrend College’s vision at the forefront, the Vision 2028 Strategic Plan provides revised vision and mission statements, enhanced values, and a revised set of strategic priorities based on our three strategic pillars: Learning by Doing, Innovating through Collaboration, and Advancing Knowledge. The Strategic Implementation Committee operationalized the Vision 2028 Strategic Plan and developed new, actionable strategic initiatives that we will pursue through 2028. In addition to these updates to the strategic plan, we have adopted several initiatives to further strengthen our School’s alignment with the AACSB.
Success is only possible because of our dynamic and motivated faculty, support of our advisory board and corporate partners, and our loyal alumni and friends of the Black School of Business who provide the infrastructure to reach higher!
Ozgun C. Demirag