By Pam Watts and the NIRSA Board of Directors

An aligned Strategic Plan for all entities of NIRSA positions the Association for serving members, executing its mission, and expanding the impact of collegiate recreation.

NIRSA’s Strategic Plan will help guide the advancement of our Strategic Values.

Through a multi-year, inclusive process, the NIRSA Board of Directors led the Association through a re-visioning process with the ultimate goal of poising NIRSA to better leverage the competencies and leadership which have been built over the last 60 years. The skills and passion of NIRSA members has helped position NIRSA to evolve into a globally trusted resource and partner for relevant information, and innovative products and services that inspire the development of healthy individuals and communities.

“This plan represents true synergy and collaboration within our organization that strengthens our ability to lead and achieve our aspirational goals.”

Building on the mission, vision, and tagline adopted in early 2011, the Association extended the outcomes from the June 2011 environmental scan for strategic planning which involved a broad cross-section of Association leaders. Representatives from all three Association Boards (NIRSA, NIRSA Foundation, and NIRSA Services Corporation), the NIRSA Assembly, Member Network, volunteer leaders, student members, staff, and other thought leaders from a broad spectrum of topic areas in higher education weighed in on mega-issues for collegiate recreation in the fall of 2012. Using the results of the scans, the highly-respected association management consulting firm Tecker International, LLC facilitated the Board’s process of moving from strategic visioning to strategic planning through the fall of 2012.

Three key goals for the Association emerged from the process. These goals were reviewed by numerous stakeholder groups for initial feedback including the recently constituted Strategic Value Commissions. A Strategic Plan Task Force was appointed to integrate the feedback from stakeholder groups and draft objectives and tactics for each goal area. A fourth goal area emerged through the Task Force work.

A key impetus for this shared Strategic Plan was to better integrate all the entities of NIRSA into one aligned direction. As NIRSA President-designee and Strategic Plan Task Force Chair Laurie Braden explains, “this plan is a shared document for all entities of NIRSA.” The value of which, she goes on to say, is that “it represents true synergy and collaboration within our organization that strengthens our ability to lead and achieve our aspirational goals.”

The NIRSA Board reviewed the draft plan in depth at their 2013 summer meetings to ensure alignment with the shared envisioned future and assess the Association’s capacity to achieve the objectives. At the June 25, 2013 NIRSA Board meeting, the Strategic Plan was adopted.

NIRSA leadership is committed to actively use this plan to guide Association direction and resource allocation for the next three-to-five years; that commitment will accelerate NIRSA’s ability to deliver relevant programs and services to members as well as expand the reach of the Association.