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Strategic Plan Background

In December 2012, Robert Barchi, who served as Rutgers' 20th president from September 2012 to June 2020, announced the launch of the university's first strategic planning process in nearly two decades, with the goal of outlining the university's agenda for the next five years. Rutgers' impending integration with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey intensified the need to develop a universitywide strategic vision for this newly reinvented institution. The objectives of the process were to forecast a broad vision that was ambitious but realistic; establish a strategy for achieving our aspiration to be a top-tier public research institution; identify key areas of excellence and differentiation; and provide a blueprint for raising Rutgers' visibility as one of the nation's leading public universities.

Every part of the Rutgers community—faculty, students, staff, alumni, members of the governing boards, and friends of the university—participated in the strategic planning process through 14,000 completed surveys, 14 town hall meetings and information sessions, 46 focus groups, more than 100 departmental discussions, and nearly 150 one-on-one interviews, as well as University Senate meetings, retreats, faculty forums, advisory groups, and comments to the strategic planning website. In addition, Rutgers conducted an extensive analysis of higher education data and trends and measured the university's performance against that of our peer and aspirational peer institutions within the Association of American Universities.

From the community feedback gathered in the forums mentioned above, the executive steering committee developed a strategic plan framework. The framework proposed an overarching aspiration and established a total of 13 foundational elements, pillars (renamed as strategic priorities in the final plan), and integrating academic themes. The framework was posted on this website for further feedback and refinement. Thirteen committees, composed of more than 400 faculty, staff, and students, were charged with discussing one strategic area in depth and suggesting specific initiatives that could be undertaken in support of that element, priority, or theme.

President Barchi compiled the plan in draft form and in December 2013 presented it to the Board of Governors for their comment and to the Board of Trustees. The final strategic plan was approved by the Board of Governors on Februrary 4, 2014.