It is probably best to start with a brief unpacking of what SWOT stands for: S=strength, W=weakness, O=opportunity, T=threat. These four points are used by companies to plan and execute their strategies. University administrators certainly use SWOT or things like SWOT to plan for their futures. It is important to realize that universities are companies also. Just because they are in education business does not mean that they are not about profits as well. Think of the riches universities, they have billions of dollars in endowment. Harvard has over 20 billion and Yale is not far behind.
In light of these points university administrators certainly try to find what advantages they have over their competitors (S). They also try to locate and minimize their weaknesses in comparison with their competitors (W). They also look for opportunities for growth domestically and now more internationally as well. Finally, they also seek to locate where there are threats and potential roadblocks.