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President's Message | Archive


March 4, 2011

 TO: Campus Community
 FROM: Neil Kerwin, President
 SUBJECT: Final Strategic Plan Objectives, 2011–2013


Following a review by the Board of Trustees at their meeting on February 25, 2011, the university concludes development of the second phase of strategic plan objectives, to be implemented in the third and fourth years of the plan.

The board’s review is the culmination of a six-month process that began with review of our performance in the first two years; internal planning by departments, deans, vice presidents and provost; community review; and public commentary. Over the course of that period, we have refined the objectives to incorporate the thoughtful feedback of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents, who e-mailed their feedback or participated in a town hall meeting. Not surprisingly, many of the comments referenced the need for additional faculty and staff to achieve our ambitious goals. In many cases, these needs have been addressed through new strategic plan objectives, specific budget requests, or both. In some cases, the respondents’ suggestions will require individual replies that will be provided in the weeks ahead.

In the process of developing and refining our objectives, we affirmed our commitment to consolidate the gains of the first two years and to focus intently in 2011–2013 on a smaller number of priorities where we have the most opportunity to gain ground.

The new round of objectives was developed in close alignment with the next two-year budget, which the board approved at the February meeting. The highlights of that budget include a tuition increase of 3.8 percent in each of the next two years, the smallest increase in 15 years. Financial aid investment will increase, commensurate with the tuition increase. More details on the approved FY12 and FY13 budget will be forthcoming in a memo from Vice President of Finance and Treasurer Don Myers after spring break. However, it is worth noting that $60 million will be added to the pool of resources targeting enhancement and investment in these strategic objectives over the next two years. Considering the $40 million in resources that were allocated in the first phase of the plan, a total of $100 million in additional resources for strategic investment reflects the board’s confidence in our goals and our ability to achieve them.

The final version of the new objectives can be found online ( login required). I want to thank the entire community for your diligence and commitment to the task of assessing our performance on the plan and setting our sights on new targets that are sure to make us reach and bring fresh recognition to AU as we achieve our goals.



Strategic Plan

AU's strategic plan, Leadership for a Changing World, outlines goals and objectives for the next decade at American University. Visit for more information. ( login required for some documents)

Read the Strategic Plan

view objectives, years 7 & 8

Building a Better AU

Visit the Building AU website to read about facilities projects that support AU’s academic aspirations and enhance campus ambiance. You can also learn more about AU's Campus Plan.

Building AU

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