Commission member and Emory trustee Chilton Varner shares the article “The Power of Strategic Thinking,” from the March/April 2012 issue of Trusteeship magazine, by Carol Christ, president of Smith College.

Key points:

  1. A strategic thinking process should assess trends, make judgments about their implications for the institutions, and be a reflection on the available options. Unlike traditional strategic planning, it is not about what a college will do in the next year or two. It is about the future landscape of higher education and the institution’s place within it.
  2. Successful strategic thinking requires full buy-in from the board, faculty, and administration. The board and faculty, in particular, stand to gain increased understanding about each other’s values and responsibilities, leading to improved collaboration.
  3. Boards and campuses that think systematically about the long-term issues affecting higher education in general will better avoid risks and take greater advantage of opportunities in a rapidly changing world.

Read the entire article here (pdf download).