Case Studies

University (HBCU) Strategic Planning Process


Elizabeth City State University, A constituent institution of the University of North Carolina System and one of the nations' Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)

The Hill Group's Role

  • Strategic Planning
  • Project Coordination
  • Communications Strategy Formulation
  • Change Management
  • Strategic Interviews
  • Focus Group Facilitation
  • Survey Design & Administration
  • Market Research and Data Analysis


  • Engaged University and community stakeholders in strategic interviews, focus groups, and university and community surveys
  • Conducted over 30 SWOT analysis meetings with academic programs, administrative departments, community groups, alumni, and students
  • Assisted faculty and staff to identify higher education programs to benchmark
  • Facilitated the development of new vision, mission, and values statements
  • Directed strategic planning committee in identifying six major priorities comprising of 29 strategic goals over a 5-year time horizon
  • Developed recommendations to support regional economic development

Elizabeth City State University engaged The Hill Group, Inc. to facilitate its strategic planning process in 2019. The University is one of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina System. The University serves northeastern North Carolina to provide an affordable, high-quality education, with a personalized environment. The Hill Group’s facilitated strategic planning process helped to define the University’s purpose and vision for the future. The University’s five-year strategic plan positioned the University for long-term sustainability and aligned with the University of North Carolina System strategic plan.

The Hill Group conducted a robust market research brief to understand the University’s current market position, relative to the higher education landscape in North Carolina, the multi-state region, and nation. The consultants facilitated over 30 focus groups that engaged hundreds of stakeholders, including students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members.

The strategic plan provided a blueprint for investments and growth, outlined by six strategic priorities. The plan provides a clear path for the University to build on its mission as a comprehensive public university by ensuring access to excellent student-centered, experiential learning through practical education, applied research, and public and private partnerships.