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University of Rochester

Strategic Plan

Transformation through collaboration

The University of Rochester is currently in the development phase of our next strategic plan. Driven by our Meliora values and our mission to Learn, Discover, Heal, and Create—and Make the World Ever Better, we have the opportunity to come together as one University, and define what it means to be a global research university. This stage of the planning process built upon conversations and focus groups with our many stakeholders including faculty, students, and staff and guided by key themes identified by the institution’s leadership and Board of Trustees.

The strategic priorities and University initiatives that have been developed will direct the University’s efforts in the areas of innovation, health, community engagement, and academic excellence in order to plan for the future and create the conditions for our continued success. These priorities and initiatives will be further developed into goals with clear metrics that will guide our change. At its heart, this strategic plan will embrace innovation and focus on our strengths as an institution and help us build a remarkable place where we can live, work, and study.

The strategic priorities include:

Improving Health

Continue to strengthen and invest in health care, wellness, and our clinical enterprise

Defining the Future of Research

Building and reinvigorating our infrastructure for research innovation and growth

Elevating the Education Experience

Embracing innovation to improve student success and to better meet societal needs

Being a University for and with the Community

Strengthening local partnerships and embracing the mutual relationships we have with our many communities

Our strategic planning also centers around One University initiatives that will be foundational to our growth, discovery, and the ideas and solutions that will propel us forward.

The One University initiatives include:

Investing in Our People

Creating better work environments, ensuring a culture of respect, and developing programs for sustainable retention, recruitment, and growth

Turning Equity Into Action

Intentionally connecting diversity, equity, and inclusion to our academic, institutional, and health care enterprises

Growing Our Reputation

Modernizing the University’s brand and expanding our reach into regional, national, and international markets

Inspiring Operational Excellence

Investing in our facilities, finances, technology, and data systems


A message from President Mangelsdorf

“As the work of our institution and the development of our strategic plan moves forward, it is important to acknowledge that much of what we need to do for a successful future is built on some of the important work we are doing today.”

Sarah C. Mangelsdorf 
President and G. Robert Witmer, Jr. University Professor

Read message

Strategic planning timeline and framework

This process model represents the early phases of our strategic planning and was foundational to identifying our strategic priorities.



The University engages with consulting firm Academic Analytics for a deep dive of the University’s education and research enterprise.



The University contracts with PricewaterhouseCoopers to benchmark market drivers for similar institutions and medical centers, and to assess Rochester’s reputation with AAU.



Senior leadership worked together to analyze preliminary studies and data to create initial pathways for planning.



Focus groups and feedback sessions with faculty, staff, students, and trustees to gather input and solicit ideas about the University’s strategic priorities.



Schools and units begin and/or continue their planning informed by the priorities and the feedback from the focus groups and feedback sessions.

Strategic plan inputs

The University’s strategic plan is shaped by information and direction from several sources. From the original pathways and focus groups to our accreditation process and insights from the Board of Trustees, the planning process continues to be inclusive, collaborative, and broadly co-constructed.

President Vision + Priorities

Ideas and concepts that President Mangelsdorf has identified for the future of the University of Rochester.

Data + Benchmarking

Academic Analytics, Consultant insights, trends and benchmarking.

Board of Trustees

February 2022 working session gathering insights from Board members.

School + Unit Plans / Reports

Spring 2022 school and unit strategic plans and reports connecting plans and goals for the future.


Middle States Accreditation process kicking off that will allow us to examine various aspects of our organization.

Pathway Work Groups

Five pathway groups led by university leaders to gather insights and ideas.

Elements of the planning process

Several phases contribute to create a comprehensive and robust strategic planning process. This timeline represents our planning process. It includes the work done to date as well as our remaining milestones and planning phases.


New priorities

Determined presidential priorities that helped shape role of President Mangelsdorf



Data analysis, reputation review, financial health, Project Imagine



Retreats, focus groups, brainstorming, stakeholder input



Develop priority areas, plan structure, timeline, working groups

February 2022

Pathways Presented

Board of Trustee presentation and breakout discussions; School reports shared with Provost Office.

March 2022

Identification of Themes

Cabinet discussion: Debrief Board of Trustee themes; Highlight themes from school plans + reports; Board of Trustee Strategic Planning Group formed.

April 2022


Refine connection between school plans and pathways; Share progress with University stakeholders.

May 2022

Board of Trustees Presentation

Board presentation on alignment of themes across schools; Provide overarching structure of plan; presentations of speakers.

June 2022

Alignment + Initiatives

Begin refinement of priority areas, support infrastructure, and framework for strategic plan.

July 2022

Refinement & Framing

New Provost starts! Cabinet retreat; Continue to refine priorities, collaboration, infrastructure needs; Discuss data + metrics we have and key targets.

August 2022

Alignment & Metrics

Continue to discuss metrics + KPIs calibration; Systems for tracking data and progress.

September 2022

Communications Campaign

Begin sharing plan framework, details, and upcoming launch with university stakeholders work groups; Identify implementation work group.

October 2022

Strategic Plan Concept Launch

Present concept plan to Board of Trustees for approval; Soft launch plan to community; Showcase support for both infrastructure + aspirational goals.

February 2023

Strategic Plan Leadership Retreat

Bring University leadership community together to discuss the strategic plan and the global research university of the future.



Determine goals, objectives, initiatives, metrics, finances

In appreciation

Sincere thanks to the many people who helped us arrive at this point in our strategic planning process. From those who led efforts around our initial pathways, our colleagues who shared their school and unit plans, and everyone who participated in the focus groups, we are grateful for your contributions.

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