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University Strategic Plan

In March 2017, President Joel Seligman convened members of the Board of Trustees to meet with faculty; students; administrative leaders, including school deans and a Faculty Senate cochair; and other friends of the University at a retreat in Naples, Florida, to kick off the next phase of strategic planning for the University.

In April 2017, Seligman’s report to the Faculty Senate and University community set the context for this strategic planning effort and highlighted future priorities. The discussions at these meetings have shaped the goals and phases for the next strategic plan.

Goals and Phases

The University of Rochester seeks to lead through research, innovate in education, build and embrace community, and transform health care, while achieving financial sustainability. These goals are the core of the strategic plan that will have two phases. Phase I, through 2021, builds on ongoing initiatives developed under the “Next Level” strategic plan that was put in place in 2015 to extend beyond the 2013-2018 “Aiming Higher” strategic plan. Phase II will frame a longer-term vision for the University through 2025.

Pause in Planning

With the search for the University’s next president now underway and with ongoing efforts to strengthen Rochester’s Culture of Respect, it is appropriate to pause the greater part of the long-term planning process. It is essential to engage the University’s next president in any long-term planning process, both to lead the effort and to learn about the University community through the exercise.

Community Engagement

The University will continue to focus efforts on community engagement as this area fits well with work that must take place in the near future and also affords opportunities to make significant near-term gains. The strategic focus will remain on data science, neuroscience, and the performing arts and humanities, consistent with the “Next Level” strategic plan that continues through 2018. These priorities were highlighted at a meeting with the Board of Trustees in March 2018.

The continued focus on community engagement and the Next Level priorities does not mean that other strategic planning areas will not be identified as future priorities, or that efforts to continue advancing the University will stall.

As was outlined with the Faculty Senate, central funds for University Research Awards have been doubled to $500,000. With appropriate matching funds from school deans, this will bring total seed funds to $1,000,000 this year.

These funds can be used to augment ideas that will serve as the basis for future strategic planning efforts. Ultimately, the genesis for new ideas is the creativity and intellect of students, faculty, and staff—undoubtedly there will be no shortage of ideas and projects to advance the institution.