ECSU launches 5-year strategic plan


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Friday, March 22, 2019

Elizabeth City State University has hired a Carnegie, Pennsylvania-based consulting firm to help develop a five-year strategic plan for the university.

The Hill Group has been hired at a cost of $79,400 to conduct a strategic planning process expected to take six to eight months.

According to the Hill Group, the firm’s goal is to “facilitate the development of a five-year strategic plan that will capitalize on the university’s many strengths and position the university for long-term success.”

This is the first time ECSU has hired a firm to lead the university’s strategic planning process. ECSU trustees said last fall they were committed to coming up with a five-year strategic plan that would have broad support not just at ECSU, but the Elizabeth City community and northeast region as well.

Trustees have said their hopes for the plan include increasing enrollment, clarifying the university’s identity, and helping everyone in the university community understand how they fit into that identity.

The Hill Group has worked with corporations, universities and nonprofits. Among the firm’s higher education clients are the University of Pittsburgh, University of Denver, Carnegie Mellon University, Allegheny College and Point Park University.

Jordan Pallitto of the Hill Group told trustees that the strategic plan itself is important but the process of developing it also is important.

The Hill Group plans to incorporate input from people in the community to identify needs in the region.

Although the hope is to complete the process in early October, Pallitto said the firm is willing to take longer if needed in order to get more community feedback and other helpful input.

The current timeline for developing the strategic plan calls for holding focus groups and forums in April.