The Plan


In October 2014, the Board of Regents adopted a strategic plan for the Twin Cities campus as a focused framework for reinvigorating the University's core academic mission.

The plan was developed during a yearlong planning process, convened in fall 2013 by President Eric Kaler, to develop a 10-year strategic vision and goals for the Twin Cities campus, aligned with Board of Regents planning. The president called for a bold, aspirational, and achievable plan that would build on the exceptional strengths and opportunities we have as a campus and set a general direction for key strategic priorities and decisions over the next decade.

The collaborative effort was driven by a Strategic Planning Workgroup, a 30-member faculty-staff-student group formed from open nominations and led by Provost Karen Hanson. Over the course of a year, five 20–30-member “issue teams” focused in detail on goals outlined by the workgroup to "map issues" and suggested action steps.


A draft of the completed plan was completed during summer 2014 for campuswide feedback. Campus listening sessions took place July 8 and August 12; a completed draft was shared at a Campus Conversation on September 3 and with the Board of Regents on September 12. An open comment period in September helped to fine-tune the plan before it was presented to the Regents for final approval October 10.

Implementation of the plan is moving forward. The ten-year plan will focus particularly on the core academic mission of research and discovery, teaching and learning, and outreach and engagement. It is intended to be a dynamic framework that will engage the entire campus and be subject to reexamination as needed.

Vision and Goals

The Strategic Plan for the Twin Cities campus includes a vision and four supporting goals as a ten-year framework for advancing the quality, impact, and reputation of the University.

The plan aims to marshal the University's strengths more powerfully to address Grand Challenges—as part of a broader aim to create a stronger, more nimble, better integrated, and deeply engaged research university.

The four supporting goals are mapped to many specific action steps designed to move the campus on a path to transformational improvement over the course of a decade.

Venn diagram showing the strategic vision and goals.


The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities will be preeminent in solving the grand challenges of a diverse and changing world

In pursuit of this vision we will:

  • Use our depth and breadth to capitalize on our exceptional students, faculty, staff, and on our location in a vibrant metropolitan setting to generate and disseminate new knowledge and insights.
  • Create an educated populace able to identify, understand, and solve demanding problems.
  • Leverage the power of divergent paths to knowledge and creativity in order to address grand challenges.
  • Partner with the communities and people of the state of Minnesota to benefit the common good.

Our Strategic Goals

Build an exceptional University where grand societal challenges are addressed

  • Educate, cultivate, and empower leaders to foster institutional and societal change
  • Target resources that will build capacity to harness the University’s depth and breadth to address these grand challenges
  • Prepare students who can uniquely contribute to solving grand societal challenges
  • Transform curricula in a way that combines grand challenges with disciplines
  • Coordinate and leverage research in institutionally cross-cutting areas of strength

Support excellence and, with intention, reject complacency

  • Establish incentives for creative disruption and accept productive tension
  • Increase efforts to empower individual initiatives
  • Streamline rules and regulations
  • Measure and set goals for meaningful diversifying experiences

Aggressively recruit, retain, and promote field-shaping researchers and teachers

  • Build a pipeline to recruit and retain the best and brightest field-shaping teachers and researchers
  • Support their work with needed infrastructure and a culture of high expectations
  • Reduce barriers to productive transdisciplinarity and advance transinstitutional partnerships
  • Acccelerate transfer of knowledge for the public good

Establish a culture of reciprocal engagement, capitalizing on our unique location

  • Better leverage our location for the mutual benefit of the University and the community; contribute to and benefit from a vibrant and enriching economic, creative, social, and intellectual environment
  • Clearly define and embrace what it means to be a land-grant research university in the 21st century