Thanks to the collaborative dialogue, the strategic planning process was a resounding success and implementation is underway. Learn more about the strategic plan initiatives  by visiting the Pillar web pages.

Overview of the Phases of Work

Phase 1: Discovery

Developed fact base on where we are; gathered initial input on aspirations, Strategic Pillars, and initiatives

Phase 2: Ideation

Developed our Strategic Pillars and identified initiatives

Phase 3: Testing

Syndicated initiatives; conducted initiative design and planning

Phase 4: Development

Developed final strategy document and recommendations on next steps

Phase 5

Detailed planning and preparation for implementation


Deliver impact through a dedicated team

This plan describes our goals and key initiatives for the next 10 years. University employees and students can read the full plan here.

Watch Presentation

Phase 5



After almost eight months of collecting information and feedback, we entered into Phase 5 of the strategic planning process. While we were crafting and reviewing initiatives, we asked for comments from the community on the strategic, institutional pillars in development. The five pillars and underlying initiatives were co-created throughout the process of meeting and speaking with every college and thousands of UA faculty, staff, students, alumni and stakeholders. The pillars represent broad focus areas that work in concert and collectively act as a robust roadmap for the UA’s future. Each pillar has been developed into initiatives to be implemented with clear goals and performance indicators. This has formed the basis of the strategic plan by supporting our vision and inspiring our work.

Phase 3 and 4: Testing and Development


We continued to refine the pillars and initiatives that had been co-created through the first two phases of meeting and speaking with every college and receiving the collective input of nearly 10,000 UA stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters.

We engaged deans and other campus leaders regularly in this process to encourage dialogue about how each college uniquely sees itself in developing students and leading research in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Over the summer, we worked toward finalizing the strategy draft and began preparing for plan implementation

Watch the video below to learn more about the planning process that took place in Phases 3 and 4.

Phase 2: Ideation

Website Questions

Question 3: Name three ways the UA can ensure our students are prepared for life after graduation.

  • 25% of respondents: Offer real-world experience in the form of experiential learning opportunities, real-life projects, and internships and externships.
  • 24% of respondents: Career placement assistance in the form of job fairs, guidance and mentoring, and opportunities for networking. Perhaps offer a capstone-type course that addresses skills needed in the workplace, gets their resume together, etc.        
  • 12% of respondents: Teach a Life Skills course that covers effective communication, basic health and self-care, sexual health and responsibility, and relationships beyond social media (personal/sexual, family, friends, supervisors).
  • 11% of respondents: Develop critical thinking skills. 
  • 7% of respondents: Provide financial information, addressing student loans/debt, future salaries, and budgeting to encourage financial stability post-graduation.

Question 4: How do we prepare students to live a meaningful life in an increasingly digital world?

Common themes emerged from this question, including:

  • Encourage students to unplug and experience reality above and beyond the digital world.
  • Provide a well-rounded education—including digital advancements, the social sciences and liberal arts—to produce critical, independent thinkers. 
  • Impart the importance of community, networking and personal development. Engage students in community events for the benefit of others. Create a culture of philanthropy.
  • Teach the importance of digital responsibility.
  • Find an efficient balance between digital platforms and in-person, hands-on experience.

Phase 1: Discovery

We engaged the Arizona community by way of topical meetups. The basic formula for each meetup was:

pull big ideas + ideas to test = outcomes

Thousands of faculty, students, staff, administrators and external constituents participated in a wide variety of sessions. View the summaries of the Strategic Plan Meetups that were posted as they occurred and reflect one or two sample insights gained around each topic. Note, in some cases we heard completely opposing ideas. All feedback was shared with the Strategic Planning Committee for further discussion.