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Looking Towards the Future I - April 24, 2006


Michael G. Dolence Biography

Michael Dolence is President of Michael G. Dolence and Associates. He consults with higher education institutions, systems, associations and vendors nationally and internationally. Michael G. Dolence and Associates specialize in curriculum-centered strategic planning, learner-centered curriculum, curriculum-centered strategic enrollment management, linking planning and budgeting, revenue planning, strategic initiatives, organizational transformation, information technology optimization, managerial and learning assessment, marketing, strategic positioning and both internal and external communications enhancement. He is an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker on these subjects.

Mr. Dolence is perhaps best known for his continued innovation in developing effective and efficient planning and management processes for higher education. He is the architect and developer of the curriculum-centered strategic planning model, the learner-centered curriculum framework, and the curriculum-centered enrollment management model. His pioneering work on the development of his "Strategic Decision Engine," culminated in the book “Working Toward Strategic Change.” The SDE as it is known, provides a framework for making very complex and politically sensitive decisions in hostile and uncooperative environments. Using the SDE, he is a specialist at the rescue of organizations in trouble, negotiations that are failing or have failed, and emergency response to organizational crisis. (The SDE, when used as a framework for strategic planning is known as the Strategic Planning Engine or SPE.)

Mr. Dolence has numerous publications and has made numerous presentations before such national audiences as the Association of Governing Boards (AGB), National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), American Medical Association(AMA), Washington Secretariat for Higher Education, the League for Innovation, Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE), EDUCAUSE (CAUSE, and EDUCOM) and many others. His books include:

  • Strategic Choices for the Academy: How Demand for Lifelong Learning Will Re-create Higher Education (Jossey-Bass)
  • Strategic Change in Colleges and Universities (Jossey-Bass)
  • Working Toward Strategic Change:
    A Step-by-step Guide to the Planning Process (Jossey-Bass)
  • Strategic Enrollment Management:
    A Primer for Campus Administrators (AACRAO)
  • Strategic Enrollment Management Cases from the Field (AACRAO)
  • Transforming Higher Education: A Vision for Learning in the 21st Century (SCUP)
  • Reengineering Higher Education (CAUSE)
  • The Chief Information Officer in Higher Education (CAUSE)

Mr. Dolence has served as Strategic Planning Administrator for the California State University, Los Angeles; Director of Research, Planning and Policy Analysis for the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities; Founding Director of the New York State Public Opinion Poll; and Founding Director of the Science, Engineering, and Research Campus Hook-up.

As a consultant, Mr. Dolence has worked with numerous institutions of higher education nationally to develop campus-wide strategic planning processes and strategic enrollment management programs with a special emphasis upon crisis avoidance and crisis intervention. His counsel is sought on strategies to respond to state and federal initiatives as-well-as repositioning institutions for competitiveness. He has also worked with information system vendors in the development of state-of-the-art strategic enrollment and instructional management systems.

While at the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), he built, maintained, and utilized for statewide master planning, research and policy analysis, a data base of every institution in New York State: public, independent, and proprietary. As Independent Sector Master Plan Coordinator, he reviewed the quadrennial master plans and biennial progress reports of each institution (over 300) in the state, monitored progress, noted what worked and what fell short, and synthesized the independent sector master plan. Using the comprehensive database he began his work on strategic enrollment management. The research and policy analysis he conducted was used to develop and support five state and federal legislative agendas. This extensive experience continues to provide a unique perspective in his work with higher education organizations.

Serving as Founding Director of the New York State Public Opinion Poll, Mr. Dolence worked with leading civic and political opinion makers to explore and test public opinion on a wide variety of public policy issues. As Founding Director of the Science, Engineering, and Research Campus Hook-up (SEARCH) service and as key staff to the statewide business and industry advisory committee of the CICU, Mr. Dolence has extensive experience in dealing with business leaders in the development of synergy's between business, industry, government and higher education. He has also served several board positions with the Southern California Planning Forum.

While serving as Strategic Planning Administrator at California State University, Los Angeles, Mr. Dolence had the opportunity to implement a campus-wide strategic planning process as-well-as guide the development of an integrated planning and budgeting system. In addition, he has had extensive experience in developing the tactical plans necessary to implement a strategic management system in a university of 22,000 students. They include strategic plans for information resources, university relations, foundation and development activities, alumni affairs, athletics, academic affairs, strategic enrollment management, student affairs, facilities, finance, and disaster preparedness.

Mr. Dolence is a member of Who's Who Worldwide, Who's Who in American Education, and is listed in the Who's Who Registry of Global Business Leaders.

Statewide Master Planning Officer

As the statewide master planning officer for the Independent sector in New York state, Mr. Dolence consulted with institutions on preparing for the master plan amendment process, presenting the amendment case to the Regents, appealing negative decisions, and gaining support from other institutions. He also served on the Statewide Teacher Education Task Force, the Inter-sector Committee on Teacher Certification, the Regional Teacher Education Advisory Councils, and the Commissioner's Educational Leaders Advisory Council.

Project DELTA (Direct Electronic Learning and Teaching Alternative)

As a member of the CSU Project DELTA Task Force, Mr. Dolence prepared position papers on the future of teaching and learning in the information age, and evaluated hundreds of proposals for funding culminating in recommendations to the Chancellor. He also made numerous site visits around the U.S. to evaluate initiatives in other states, systems and institutions to improve teaching, learning, teacher education, and academic administration. Much of the research to support Project DELTA has been synthesized and incorporated in his new book with Don Norris titled, Transforming Higher Education: A Vision for Learning in the 21st Century.

Academic Publishing Workshops for Faculty

Mr. Dolence developed and presented at numerous institutions around the country a methodology for faculty to use in constructing a personal publication strategy. The methodology was developed at the request of The Association of California State University Professors. The workshop, which he still gives is titled, "Developing a Personal Publications Strategy." It was published in the Proceedings of the 1990 Conference on Excellence in Education: Academic Publishing - Requirements, Pitfalls, and Advantages, Long Beach, CA: The Association of California State University Professors, March 23-24, 1990.

The Center for Effective Teaching

As a member of the Board of Directors of the CSLA Center for Effective Teaching, Mr. Dolence assisted in developing a comprehensive approach to improving teaching across disciplines and programs. This included but was not limited to addressing the needs of individual students, mentoring, using information technology to enhance in classroom and out-of-classroom learning, teaching students from different cultures, and conducting professor requested evaluations classroom teaching techniques.

Linking Academic Program Planning with the Principles of Strategic Enrollment Management

Mr. Dolence has worked with many colleges, schools, and departments to develop linkages between academic program planning and the effective recruitment and retention processes, programs and initiatives embodied in Strategic Enrollment Management. He has conducted many focus group and survey research projects with perspective students, faculty, and staff.

Linking Planning and Budgeting

Mr. Dolence has worked with many colleges, schools, and departments to develop linkages between their planning processes and their budgeting system. He has worked extensively with institutions on revenue planning and developing revenue based strategic plans. He has extensive experience managing declining budgets including a 30% reduction in a $120 million budget over three years.

Revenue Planning and Development

Mr. Dolence has worked extensively with many colleges,schools, departments, and vendors to develop revenue planning capacity. This has resulted in significant increases in revenue; for example an increase of $1 million for a state University in tuition revenue within one year, an increase in sales from $12 million to $36 million for a vendor over three years, and an increase in research grants from $136,000 to over $5 million in three years for a school.

Strategic Enrollment Management

Mr. Dolence has written and worked extensively in the field of Strategic Enrollment Management. His book, Strategic Enrollment Management Casebook, published in 1996; his booklet Strategic Enrollment Management: A Primer for Campus Administrators, published in 1993 is in second printing. In addition, he has written numerous articles and book chapters on the subject, including "Setting the Context for Evaluation of Recruitment and Retention Programs " "Evaluation Criteria for Enrollment Management," "Strategic Enrollment Management and Planning," "An Overview of Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Theories, Models, and Functions," "SEM Structures: Organizational and Managerial Mission, Policies and Goals," "SEM Resources: Human, Fiscal, and Physical."

Reengineering Higher Education

Mr. Dolence co-authored one of the definitive works on the process of reengineering higher education processes. He has also worked with clients to devise reengineering strategies as well as the actual redesign of processes such as student recruitment, registration, grading & reporting, advising, counseling and others. His publications include Reengineering Higher Education, "Designing a Strategic Role for an Information Technology Organization," "Concepts for Reengineering Higher Education," "Critical Success Factors for Reengineering Higher Education," and "Reengineering: A Concept for Higher Education."

Transforming Higher Education

Mr. Dolence coauthored the book, Transforming HigherEducation: A Vision for Learning in the 21st Century, as well as several articles including "Using Key Performance Indicators to Drive Strategic Decision Making," and "IT Leadership is Key to Transformation." He has made numerous professional papers and presentations, such as "Transformative Thinking," "Transformation and the Future of Higher Education," "Transformation Theory and Practice," "A Vision for Learning in the 21st Century," "Navigating the Future Using Strategic Planning," "Using a Learning Vision to Drive the Transformation of Higher Education," "Bringing About Transformation," "Applying the Tools of Transformation," "Transforming Higher Education," "Back to the Future of Higher Education," and "Transforming Higher Education Through Information Technology During a Period of Retrenchment."

Mr. Dolence has worked with several institutions and associations including the University of Arizona, University de Montreal, Pima Community College, and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers on transformational efforts.

Other Domains

Mr. Dolence has also worked with a wide variety of organizations outside higher education including the American Accountancy Association, AMS Inc., (American Management Systems), CyberMark Inc., Datatel Inc., Disney Imagineering Inc., Los Angeles County Children's Court, Los Angeles County Juvenille Court System, Mecklermedia, Inc., Medical Malpractice Reporter, PTFMA, (Public Telecommunications Financial Managers Association), and Sallie Mae Inc.