The Client
CiTTA's Clients: Higher Education Institutes

Many higher education clients, including:

  • Drexel University Department of Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics
  • Erikson Institute
  • Michigan State University College of Law
  • Oregon State University
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of Illinois Chicago College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts
  • University of Illinois Chicago College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs
  • University of Washington’s College of Engineering
  • University of Washington’s College of the Environment

CiTTA guides them in the development of 5- to 10-year strategic plans, and in some cases, also with the development of implementation plans.

The Challenge

Higher education institutions face many similar challenges, such as the searing questions of race, justice, equity, and inclusion; changing student demographics; a polarized national political environment; and the underlying financial architecture and costs of higher education, to name a few. At the same time, each institution faces a unique set of challenges as well, ranging from internal culture, evolving competitive landscape, graduation rates, job placement rates, research distinction, community engagement, faculty recruitment and retention, and more. Strategic planning provides an opportunity to examine the current state and imagine an aspirational and actionable future state, providing the institution clarity on the strategic direction and investment focus for the next few years.

The CiTTA Difference

In all of our strategic planning projects, we are committed to inclusion and to actively seeking a variety of different perspectives, ensuring that diverse voices inform the identification of strategic priorities and create buy-in to support the strategic plan’s implementation. As such, we use a highly participatory process in which we conduct extensive interviews and focus groups, and in some cases also surveys, with internal and external stakeholders, and facilitate many group discussions with key bodies of stakeholders including diversely represented strategic planning committees.

And bringing CiTTA’s social impact lens to these projects, many of the strategic plans we have helped higher education clients develop incorporate in them key elements of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as social and environmental impact and justice, access to education, sustainability, economic development, and other measures of success that center on the “public goods.”