2019-24 Strategic Plan

Building a Franciscan Future... Together, in our Second Century

In order to ensure that, in its second century, the University of St. Francis (USF) continues to to deliver on its promise to prepare students to build a Franciscan future through service and leadership, the 2019-24 Strategic Plan has identified five key objectives that will focus the University’s continuous improvement efforts.

First, and most importantly, USF will leverage its Catholic heritage and Franciscan identity (of a values-oriented institutional culture) to create an intentionally diverse and welcoming community – so that our students, lead, succeed, and graduate in order to contribute positively to their communities.  This includes ensuring that our student body embraces and reflects the diversity of a global world – coordinated by our Diversity Committee.  As importantly, USF will increase students and employees’ understanding of Catholic Franciscan values and Catholic Social Teaching – especially through a redesign of the General Education curriculum.  A broadening of our “communities of learning” to increase students’ sense of belonging will reinforce this.

Second, in order to ensure that USF is among the “survivors” of the coming shakeout in private higher education, the University will strive to increase its reputation as a leading Catholic, Franciscan university with excellent student educational outcomes to increase the size of the student population. This includes promoting our broad portfolio of specialized accreditations, increasing awareness of the USF brand and value proposition, and improving rankings in “best” quality listings like US News.  In addition, through revamped marketing and other outreach programs, the University will increase its brand awareness in targeted areas and its alumni engagement and support.

Third, USF will increase the quality of its academic and co-curricular programs by managing its broad portfolio of specialized accreditations even as it works to improve student performance on key GenEd outcomes.  In addition, through increased emphasis on student achievement and experiential learning opportunities, the University will increase its already-admirable graduation and employment rates – in order to provide a positive “return on investment” to its students.

Fourth, USF will strengthen its financial capacity and long-term sustainability.  By allocating resources to ensure mission-essential program viability and quality, increasing non-traditional revenue sources (i.e., donations, grants, and strategic programs), constraining expense growth to no greater than that of tuition revenues, and rationalizing of program/degree offerings, the University will increase its strategic investment capacity (i.e., net of fundraising and grant revenues) – including its endowment.

Finally, USF is committed to cultivating an environment that attracts, develops, and retains employees who embrace our culture, mission, and values.  This will require developing a “strengths-based” culture across all divisions by focusing on employee engagement, retaining employees who exhibit a commitment to continuous improvement and our mission, and establishing policies and procedures to ensure the safety of all personnel.