Commonwealth University Trustees Approve Landmark Strategic Plan



The University’s First-Ever Strategic Plan Puts Students at its Center

The Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania Council of Trustees has formally approved and endorsed the university’s first-ever strategic plan. The approval marks the culmination of more than a year of planning that involved input and perspectives from across all locations and levels of the university. The University Senate previously endorsed the plan at its September 14 meeting. 

The plan has measurement of success built into it. Each of four strategic priorities is coupled with selected metrics, such as average unmet need and average net prices compared to Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education average, placement rate of graduates, and student retention, that the university will monitor to determine the overall success of the plan. 

The plan’s four strategic priorities are: Student Success; Academic Excellence and Innovation; University Success; and Welcoming and Inclusive Community. Each of these strategic priorities is undergirded by the plan’s three core commitments: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB); Strategic Communications; and Thriving Students, Faculty, and Staff. 

“I believe one of Commonwealth University’s greatest strengths is our steadfast commitment to putting students first. That commitment is on full display in the university’s first strategic plan. This ambitious and comprehensive plan places student success at the center of our goals, planning, and initiatives and promises to continue the great work we have begun. With a focus on four strategic priorities that are layered throughout the institution we will build upon our mission to provide high-quality education through high-impact practices, career connection, and inclusivity. I have no doubt that Commonwealth University will continue to grow and thrive as we launch the strategic plan,” said Council of Trustees Chair John Wetzel.

“Commonwealth University’s strategic plan is built on the core pillars that will carry the institution forward and deliver on the promise we have made to students and families across the state and region to provide an exceptional education experience, rich with opportunity and delivered affordably. The work we have done thus far through the integration process and our vision for the future of Commonwealth University have proven central to the plan’s creation. As we move forward, the strategic priorities and core commitments will be woven into every area and every initiative we undertake at Commonwealth University. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Strategic Planning Committee for shepherding the plan to completion, especially core team members Cori Myers, John Bodenman, and Amy Osborne,” said Bashar W. Hanna, Commonwealth University President.

The Student Success priority will focus on providing holistic and inclusive support to meet the needs of all students and prepare them for personal and professional success. Its initiatives will include the development of meaningful opportunities for career readiness, the growth of exemplary and holistic student support services, support to graduates as they launch their careers, and embedding of financial literacy into the learning process. 

The Academic Excellence and Innovation priority initiatives focuses on the inclusion of high-impact practices, accelerated programs, and innovative credentialing opportunities into the educational offerings as well as investments in both employee professional development and student-faculty engagement to foster innovation and the development of scholarly and creative works that make an impact far beyond the campus community. 

The Welcoming and Inclusive Community priority seeks to build a culture that embraces change, improves communication across the complex organization, supports the affinity groups that foster a sense of belonging (student organizations, athletics, etc.), and enhances the university’s mutually beneficial relationships with its surrounding communities. 

The University Success priority focuses on student enrollment, retention, and graduation rates as well as employee recruitment and onboarding. It includes the launch of strengthened marketing efforts and fundraising campaigns to support plan progress. 

Following approval of the plan, its execution will begin immediately, with each unit including efforts under its purview that directly support the priorities and move the university toward meeting the selected metrics for measurement. 

More information on the plan, including a summary of its initiatives, metrics, and development are available at