In the CSP process, a vision conference is held to gather momentum around the ideas that will lead the university into a positive future. The vision conference is a structured and highly interactive one-day meeting involving around 75 stakeholders. About 70% of these are internal stakeholders (including all members of SPARC along with other faculty, students, and administrators) and the other 30%, external (e.g., alumni, business and community leaders, etc.). This combination helps provide the perspectives people need as they think together about the future of the institution. As described by Sanaghan, “[a] vision conference is not an open brainstorming session during which every idea is a good one and participants provide loads of uninformed ideas and opinions. Rather, the session is grounded in institutional realities and quality information (concept papers) and culminates with attendees creating a shared ‘preferred future’ of the institution worthy of their commitment. At the conclusion of the conferences, a vision statement is created that brings together the hopes and aspirations of attendees and helps shape a powerful future for the institution” (“More hearts and minds at the table,” p. 5).
UNCP’s Vision Conference was held February 28, 2012.