UTSA Strategic Planning & Policy enhances and furthers the University of Tennessee’s strategic goals by aiding in the development and assessment of systemwide initiatives and policies in support of the UT Strategic Plan.

All UT System policies can be accessed at policy.tennessee.edu.

What is Policy Analysis?

A method of inquiry attempting to make the world better through identification and resolution of a problem.  The process is “a systematic search for the appropriate solution of a policy issue that has been identified and defined” (Alexander, 2013, p. 32).

Key components include describing the problem, “identifying potential policy options that could address your problem, and then comparing those options to choose the most effective, efficient, and feasible [solution]” (CDC, 2020, p. 1).


Policy Analysis Process

UTSA Strategic Planning & Policy utilizes Alexander’s (2013) 10 steps of policy analysis. The process is iterative and does not require all steps or the specific sequence listed below. The steps are a guide or starting place for the policy analytical process and will vary depending on the policy issue identified and project.

  1. Define the problem
  2. Make the case
  3. Establish your driving values
  4. Develop alternatives
  5. Weigh the options
  6. Make recommendations
  7. Communicate the solution
  8. Implement the solution
  9. Monitor outputs
  10. Evaluate outcomes


Role and Function

UTSA Strategic Planning & Policy:

  • Provides cross-cutting analysis to support decision-making
  • Identifies policy issues in support of the strategic planning process
  • Monitors relevant research and issues effecting the higher education landscape
  • Conducts analyses of policy outcomes and impacts (policy evaluation)
  • Presents materials and briefings to stakeholders related to policy analyses and resulting recommendations
  • Coordinates project management for strategic initiatives



Partners we support and collaborate with across the UT System include:



Alexander, N. A. (2013). Policy analysis for educational leaders: A step-by-step approach. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, January 02). Policy Analysis. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/policy/polaris/policyprocess/policy_analysis.html