Case Study:

University (HBCU) Strategic Plan



Higher Education

Our Role

  • Strategic Planning


Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) 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. ECSU was in need of a strategic plan that captured the unique value proposition of the University, while also creating buy-in across campus and within the community.


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 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 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.


Behind the Scenes

The Hill Group engaged University and community stakeholders in strategic interviews, focus groups, and university and community surveys and conducted over 30 SWOT analysis meetings with academic programs, administrative departments, community groups, alumni, and students. Our team facilitated the development of new vision, mission, and values statements for ECSU and directed the strategic planning committee in identifying six major priorities comprising of 29 strategic goals over a five year time horizon.