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The Strategic Planning Process

The strategic plan is the product of a robust process that involved teams of faculty, students, staff, alumni, parents, and Board of Trustees members developing an ambitious path to guide the university for the next five years. The plan is rooted in AU’s existing strengths while embracing the future, with all the opportunities and challenges that future presents. The plan draws on an extensive analysis of AU’s current strengths, opportunities, and positioning relative to our peers; an examination of best practices and trends in higher education; and, most importantly, robust input and feedback from a wide range of AU community members at all stages of development.

Skip the iframe that follows and read the timeline.




Summer - Fall 2017
President Burwell meets with AU community members to discuss what distinguishes AU, what could change, and what should remain the same

December 2017
Strategic Planning Committee is appointed

January 2018
Strategic Planning Committee partners with Education Advisory Board to deliver SWOT analysis and consults with the campus community about the mission, vision, and values statements

March 2018
Proposed strategic initiatives are presented to the AU community for input

Spring 2018
The AU community consults on the initial drafts of the strategic imperatives; in April, President Burwell meets with each school and various stakeholders

May 2018
The Strategic Planning Committee's subcommittees and working groups submit revised versions of the strategic imperatives

Summer 2018
Teams led by members of the President's Council are established to build out the plans on strategic imperatives

Fall 2018
Revised strategic framework is presented to campus community for feedback; the Board of Trustees approves draft plan

December 2018
Strategic plan is completed

January 2019
Strategic plan implementation begins


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University Strategic Planning Committee

  • Sylvia M. Burwell, President
  • Scott Bass, Provost
  • Patricia Aufderheide, Professor, School of Communication
  • Mary Clark, Interim Provost
  • Derrick Cogburn, Professor, School of International Service and Kogod School of Business
  • Frederick Engram Jr., Manager, Graduate Recruitment Communications, Office of Graduate Studies
  • Valentina Fernandez, Student Trustee
  • Seth Grossman, Chief of Staff and Counselor to the President
  • Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Dean, School of Education
  • Mina Kato, Graduate Leadership Council
  • Doug Kudravetz, Chief Financial Officer, Vice President and Treasurer
  • Jackie Mabry, Executive Director, Principal Gift Strategy, Office of Development and Alumni Relations
  • Dave Marcotte, Professor, School of Public Affairs
  • Simon Nicholson, Professor, School of International Service
  • Ana Polanco, Alumna
  • Lily Qi, Alumna
  • Jeff Sine, Trustee
  • Brenda Smith, Professor, Washington College of Law
  • Courtney Surls, Vice President, Development and Alumni Relations
  • Lacey Wootton, Director, Writing Studies Program, College of Arts and Sciences