Strategic Planning

SWOT Analysis


The initial step in the development of TTU’s new five-year strategic plan begins with a thorough examination and development of a SWOT-analysis, an in-depth summary of the university’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

The Strategic Planning Committee developed a preliminary SWOT Analysis, then gathered input from the broader campus community. On the "Swot Diagram" tab you will see what the committee has adopted as the final draft of the SWOT Analysis 2010-2015. .

2011 - 2015 SWOT Analysis


Helpful to achieving the objective - Internal origin


Harmful to achieving the objective - Internal origin

  • Nationally Recognized for providing high quality education at a low cost
  • Excellent reputation in Engineering and Science
  • Consistent National Rankings
  • Reputation for high quality programs, faculty, and research
  • Only TBR institution whose "Tech" name reflects its STEM-oriented mission
  • Produce knowledgeable graduates from rural areas with high earning power
  • Entering class has high GPA/ACT scores
  • Tech has highest retention rates in TBR system
  • Student Life activities, peer mentoring, library restructuring, living-learning villages, etc. are part of increased efforts to improve retention
  • Instructional Leadership graduated program is cost effective and popular
  • Strong distance learning program
  • Ph.D. program in Exceptional Learning is cost effective and productive
  • Engineering program has strong reputation for producing high quality students and its enrollment is 2nd largest in Tennessee
  • Workforce has a commitment to quality, dedication, positive morale, and work ethic
  • TTU students, faculty, and staff are committed to university and community
  • Faculty are recognized nationally and internationally for research and leadership in respective fields
  • TTU is located in an area of natural beauty that offers many outdoor recreational opportunities
  • Campus is attractive
  • Close proximity to Oak Ridge, TN
  • Three Research Centers of Excellence
  • TTU students and employees have skills to enhance economic and industrial development in the Upper Cumberland
  • Tech's alumni base is loyal but somewhat encultivated with respect to development
  • Lack of name recognition outside of TN and The Upper Cumberland region
  • Lack of clear vision and mission
  • Too many identities
  • Lack of minority and international student attraction
  • Lack of targeted advertisements to students out-of-state or out-of-region
  • Need for more personal relationships between students and professors, and students and advisors
  • Under-qualified part-time faculty teaching graduate level courses due to shifts in enrollment growth and inadequate fund allocation
  • Inability to adjust educational environment to fit needs of students
  • Not enough graduate degrees
  • Too many high-cost programs
  • Over-reliance on traditional programs for continuing enrollment growth and research
  • Lack of merit-based system or incentive/reward system for employees
  • Too many TTU faculty and staff who are resistant to change and fear of competition
  • Lack of diversity
  • Lack of consistent enforcement of policies and procedures
  • Geographically distant from a large urban area
  • Infrastructures and labs need extensive maintenance and renovating with little funds to do so
  • Possibly over-extended financially on STEM Center and Prescott School
  • Relative lack of political clout at Statehouse and TBR
  • Tech is not well connected politically
  • Not strong enough economic impact on the Upper Cumberland in areas of cutting edge technology
  • Inefficiencies in time and expenditures in processes across campus
  • Lack of political or industrial financial support base
  • An endowment that isn't proportional to Tech's academic standing
  • Poorly or inadequately funded programs
  • Failure to reward programs that are income producing
  • Failure to find sufficient alternative sources of revenue


Helpful to achieving the objective - External origin


Harmful to achieving the objective - External origin
  • Drastic changes in TN higher education allows Tech to redefine its image and mission, and further differentiate itself from other TN institutions
  • Increase national and regional recognition
  • Expand partnerships w/ P-16 partners, k-12, and other higher education institutions
  • Capitalize on enrollment of transfer and adult students
  • Possibility to increase retention through programs housed in the living - learning villages
  • Communication with students and communication about student performance within departments
  • Growing demand for graduate programs in teaching could lead to Masters/Specialist programs that appeal to teachers at variety of levels and expertise
  • Build on Exceptional Learning program by adding a STEM concentration
  • Use STEM center to develop publicly recognized strength for K-12 STEM education
  • Expansion of engineering, online, 2+2, and online MS programs
  • Tech should strive to use one-time funding opportunities, when presented, to address facilities across campus.
  • A state of TN initiative to pass a major bond issue for laboratories across the state
  • Expand on square-footage in years to come
  • Local state representative, is an up-and-comer willing to promote Tech’s interests
  • Proposed new funding formula
  • Involve more faculty members in research through incentives. Increased external funding is an opportunity to increase revenue through indirect cost recovery
  • Work collaboratively with UTK, ORNL, Oak Ridge in research and selective program development
  • Opportunity to maximize on potential of Centers of Excellence
  • Partner with community agencies
  • Establish stronger relationships with automotive industry in areas of automotive engineering
  • Further impact economic development in local region
  • Use budget crisis as a way to become more innovative, eliminate non-essential elements in order to become more productive at essential functions
  • Increase fundraising efforts and alumni understanding of funds needed as a vital importance to future success of TTU
  • Make sure lack of funds does not cause Tech to give into lowering standards and having less qualified professors in their field of study
  • The public perception of TTU becoming primarily an institution for the Upper Cumberland region
  • Lack of publicity in areas of TTU excellence, value and quality
  • Increased budget cuts, tuition, and various costs reduces affordability of college for students
  • Upper Cumberland population growth has leveled off
  • Improving retention rates by lowering academic standards which leads to decreased institutional value, reputation, and negative perception from the community
  • Instructional Leadership Masters and Specialist degree program is being reshaped by TN Dept. of Education. Outcomes could reduce a large amount of revenue for TTU
  • Any elimination of redundant programs across the state could impact Tech negatively or positively
  • TBR fails to recognize difference between constituent institutions
  • Budget crisis makes faculty recruitment difficult because of job security fears
  • Faculty recruitment suffers due to more emphasis on teaching than research and TTU’s small town location
  • Low employee morale due to budget cuts and job loss
  • Lack of state funding of capital improvements
  • Tech will be threatened with building standards issues, life safety code issues, ADA complaints, etc. because of inadequate funding for major maintenance
  • Continued reductions in state funding to the University
  • Political and funding formula threats to Graduate programs, research, and various programs
  • Political climate emphasizes general education at community colleges
  • Threats to TTU Centers of Excellence if we are not viewed by TN as a research institution
  • Competition and inefficiency among TBR and UT System campuses
  • Continual reduction in state funding
  • Internal competition for limited funding
  • Decrease in faculty and staff morale due to job security and Tech’s threatened reputation for quality