Frequently Asked Questions

Strategic planning is the practice of formulating institutional strategies, implementing them, and evaluating their impact on university objectives. Ideally, planning should be guided by values that are held closely by the stakeholders associated with the institution and are reflected in the strategic priorities of the plan.

USF has divided its strategic planning process into four phases:

  1. Establishing parameters and expectations (August-September 2020)
  2. In-community conversations and input on the plan (October-December 2020)
  3. Development of plan including strategies, timelines, responsibilities, and performance measures (January-April 2021)
  4. Board of Trustees approval and community adoption (May-September 2021)

The strategic plan incorporates recommendations and findings from previous planning and evaluation efforts to create a three- to five-year plan for institutional improvement and achievement that includes specific strategies, timelines for completion, responsible parties, and performance measures.

Strategic planning is a best practice that was identified in the Magis Project and a requirement of the WSCUC re-accreditation process. Additionally, it is viewed as a wise investment at this unprecedented time of change and vulnerability due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest and reckoning of racial injustice, and natural disasters triggered by climate change and the environment.

The strategic plan has implications for how resources will be allocated and used, the quality of a USF education and contributions to the broader community and world, the operational practices of the institution, the culture and climate of the university, and its ability to be resilient, ready, and relevant. Participating in the development of the plan provides faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners the opportunity to help shape the future of USF and strengthen its ability to fulfill its mission and vision.

Guiding values are the qualities and beliefs that direct decisions and behaviors that inform the creation and content of the strategic plan. They reflect USF’s identity, values, and attributes that support USF’s vision, mission, and ability to thrive.

Strategic Priorities are areas of focus identified as highly important to develop strategies for improvement and achievement in. Our priorities were determined by identifying overlapping themes that emerged from review of recent evaluation and planning efforts (such as WSCUC re-accreditation, the Magis Project, Campus Climate Survey, and the USF 2028 planning document), as well as identified needs based on the current realities and environment in which USF operates. The description of each strategic priority reflects guiding values of the strategic planning process and provides a scope of focus to use for developing strategies for improvement or achievement.

The tasks of the Core Group include establishing an initial framework and timelines, ensuring a transparent and inclusive planning process, and guiding the overall process from plan development to approval and implementation. Working groups composed of USF community members and stakeholders will be formed for each strategic priority with the task of developing strategies, action steps, timelines, accountabilities, and performance measures.

If you have a forward-thinking, game-changing idea for improvement or achievement related to our four strategic priority areas, please submit to the working groups via the appropriate form:

In addition, you can contact the Strategic Planning Core Committee at