The University Strategic Plan

On February 4, 2014, following more than a year of universitywide discussion and analysis initiated by Robert Barchi, who served as Rutgers 20th president from September 2012 to June 2020, the Rutgers Board of Governors approved a five-year strategic plan that established a clear ambition for the nearly 250-year-old institution:

Rutgers aspired to be broadly recognized as among the nation’s leading public universities: preeminent in research, excellent in teaching, and committed to community.

The plan offered a thorough and frank assessment of Rutgers’ current position, set within the context of American public higher education, and offered a bold yet actionable and achievable strategy for achieving excellence that reflects input from faculty, students, staff, board members, alumni, and other stakeholders. Written for Rutgers, by Rutgers, the plan was designed to build on the university's historic strengths while developing new areas and programs that would take Rutgers to new levels.

The strategic plan set four strategic priorities for the ensuing five years to improve Rutgers' performance and foster a broader environment of change:

  • Envision tomorrow’s university
  • Build faculty excellence
  • Transform the student experience
  • Enhance our public prominence

The plan rested on five foundational elements upon which to build Rutgers’ future success:

  • Strong core of sciences and humanities
  • Inclusive, diverse, and cohesive culture
  • Effective and efficient infrastructure and staff
  • Financial resources sufficient to fund our aspirations
  • Robust shared governance, academic freedom, and effective communication

Five integrating themes brought these priorities and elements together in ways relevant to Rutgers’ particular areas of strength and potential excellence:

  • Cultures, diversity, and inequality—local and global
  • Improving the health and wellness of individuals and populations
  • Creating a sustainable world through innovation, engineering, and technology
  • Educating involved citizens and effective leaders for a dynamic world
  • Creative expression and the human experience

Dr. Barchi charged the university’s four chancellors to continue the process by developing strategic plans for Rutgers University–Camden, Rutgers University–Newark, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, leveraging their own distinctive attributes within the larger framework provided by the university strategic plan.

Rutgers' strategic plan included a framework of assessment tools and metrics that would evaluate progress both qualitatively and quantitatively. Employing measurements that emphasize transparency, ease of use, and accessibility, Rutgers' academic and administrative leadership and the Board of Governors set out to establish specific targets and completion dates and assign accountability for improvement in each area of the plan.