Strategic planning is the process of developing and maintaining a strategic “best fit” for the institution within its environment, focusing on institutional vision, mission, and core values. Strategic planning determines for an organization a three- to five-year course of action, means for its accomplishment, and methods to assess its outcome.

Strategic planning clearly defines the purpose of the institution. It establishes realistic goals and objectives that are consistent with its governing ideas and assigns a time frame for each. The plan also establishes a means to communicate these goals and objectives to the institution's constituents. It ensures the most effective use of the institution's resources by focusing on priorities and providing a baseline from which to measure progress. Finally, it establishes a mechanism for informed adaptive change.