Strategic Planning History


The University of San Francisco undertook a Strategic Planning process in fall 2020, culminating in Board of Trustees approval of USF’s first-ever Strategic Plan in fall 2021. 

This strategic plan was developed in the midst of a global health pandemic, a national racial reckoning, an environmental crisis, and political upheaval, accentuating the importance of attending to the holistic care of our people, institution, and resources. USF Strategic Plan 2027 was created through community input, involving students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners in conversations about the future of USF. The strategic plan articulates a vision for USF as deeply engaged in transformative social and environmental justice, responding thoughtfully and courageously to the multiple crises of this moment, and advancing a vision of a more just, sustainable future.

Resource Stewardship

A fundamental principle of the strategic plan is to realize that our revitalized mission depends on our ability to advance both cura personalis – holistic care for our people – and cura apostolica – passion for our mission and vision. In implementing the plan, we apply this principle to the stewardship of our resources, working to build a thriving enterprise that generates and shares abundance with current community members and with those who will live, learn, and work at USF in the future. Core features of this mission-driven fiscal stewardship include:

  • Transparent and participatory processes for managing the university’s financial, physical, and digital resources
  • Commitment to strategies that ensure students graduate with manageable debt
  • Maintenance of operating reserves of at least two percent annually to provide institutional resilience in uncertain times
  • Growth of tuition revenue and diversification of other revenue streams to support strategic goals
  • Provision of competitive compensation that enables the university to hire and retain diverse talent
  • Operation with strong internal controls, compliance, and fiduciary oversight
  • Investment in our physical plant and reduction of the university’s cumulative deferred maintenance backlog
  • Management and growth of the university’s endowment to achieve risk-adjusted investment returns superior to the median of the university’s benchmark set of peer institutions
  • Launch of the university’s next comprehensive campaign
  • Continual adaptation to changing trends in developing an agile, mission-driven, business model of higher education

Shared Accountability

This plan is a living document that will guide institutional efforts and resource allocation in an iterative manner involving all members of the USF community. Specific actions to advance and monitor progress include:

  • The Office of the Provost will ensure regular communication on progress and updates, and on continuity of strategic planning as a transparent institutional practice.
  • A widely representative strategic plan council will be established to guide and manage the implementation of the strategic plan.
  • The vice presidents will ensure that objectives and goals relevant to their specific areas are advanced, and provide quarterly progress reports to the president.
  • The Board of Trustees will review the plan and receive updates on progress toward goals annually.
  • Objectives and actions will be refined and updated in a transparent manner and with input from campus stakeholders.

A Living Document

This plan articulates new strategies to strengthen the institution and increase the value USF generates for students, employees, our extended community, and the world. It is intended to work in concert with the many successful academic, co-curricular, and administrative programs, practices, and operations already in place that must persist in order to realize our mission and ensure the viability of the institution. Through shared accountability, the strategic plan will continually evolve in response to feedback and experience.

The development of this plan was envisioned as an opportunity to continually support a culture that fosters trust and ensures community-wide participation in co-creating USF’s future. Through review of recommendations from past data-gathering efforts and survey and listening sessions with students, staff, faculty, administrators, alumni, and community partners, five guiding values and three integrated and underlying themes identified as vital to all priority areas were confirmed as central to both our present and emerging needs, and to our opportunities to ensure USF’s future. During the spring semester of 2021, the strategic planning core committee formed four working groups composed of over 60 community stakeholders (faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners) who applied or were nominated to participate. Each working group focused on specific priority areas and developed action plans containing objectives and supporting actions. University stakeholders provided feedback again in October 2021 specific to the vision and the resulting goals and actions.

  • Make recommendations related to the University’s mission, vision, values, strategic directions, programs, and services.
  • Help the community identify critical strategic issues facing the organization. Assist in analysis of alternative strategic options.
  • Ensure the community has established an effective strategic planning process, including development of a three- to five-year strategic plan with measurable goals, time targets, and named areas or individuals responsible/accountable for the priority’s successful achievement.
  • Understand the higher education landscape, market/community, and USF core competencies. Keep up-to-date on higher education and local market trends, community needs, advances in technology, and other opportunities to improve the scope, cost effectiveness and quality of services provided by USF.
  • Review the strategic plan and recommend updates as needed based on changes in the market, community needs, and other factors
  • Forward the strategic plan to the Board of Trustees to ensure alignment with USF’s strategic directions and goals
  • Develop criteria for the leadership team to use in evaluating potential strategic investments.
  • Assist in development of a set of dashboards of key performance indicators.
  • Communicate the organization’s performance against measurable targets or progress points/milestones

Co-lead: Pamela Balls Organista, Vice Provost

Co-lead: Golden Venters, Director of Organization Effectiveness, Student Life

Chris Brooks, Professor, CAS

Tyrone Cannon, Interim Provost

April Crabtree, Assistant Vice Provost, SEM

Eileen Fung, Interim Dean, CAS

Michael Harrington, Associate Vice Provost Planning & Budget, CIPE

Anneliese Mauch, Associate Vice President, OMC

Keally McBride, Professor, CAS, interim through 3/25/21

Joan McDermott, Director, Athletics

Jeffrey Paller, Assistant Professor, CAS, on leave until 3/25/21

Sonja Martin Poole, Associate Professor, SOM and USFFA President, ex-officio member

Richard Stackman, Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, SOM