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Framework Set Forth by President Burwell

In her inaugural address, President Burwell set forth five pillars that will guide AU’s future. The extensive consultation with the AU community that President Burwell and the Strategic Planning Committee has undertaken contributed significantly to the development of these pillars. These pillars will play an important role in shaping AU’s next strategic plan. Here is how President Burwell described the pillars:

First, we must use partnerships to achieve excellence. We must work together - from Kogod to Katzen, SIS to Spring Valley, across schools and programs, with local community organizations and national organizations, between the public and private sectors alike. Because it's only by working together that we can achieve excellence in our scholarship, excellence in our research, excellence on the playing field, excellence in our classrooms and in the workforce.

Second, we need to lead in academics, teaching, and experiential learning. We need to make sure that we are great both in research and teaching. We need to be the university of "and", not "or". We need to value our research and scholarship, as well as the experience inside and outside the classroom.

Third, we must set our sights on the future. The future of learning. The future of work. The future of citizenship. We must empower our faculty and staff to work in new ways, across schools. We need to continue to improve the student experience. We need to take on the challenges in the economics of higher education. We need to focus on what it means to learn over the course of a lifetime.

Fourth, we need to nurture our connection with Washington, DC. That means finding ways to be productive members of our local community - through acts of service, and helping the local economy thrive. And it means making sure our AU community benefits from everything this great city has to offer.

Finally, we must continuously take up our charge to make a positive impact on the world, combining our scholarship with a commitment to service. To produce changemakers as well as changemaking scholarship. That's the future we're building here at American University. One of partnerships; of "and" not "or"; grounded in our community with our eyes set on the horizon, looking toward the future - a place for changemakers.