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“The goal is simple: to be the highest-impact public research university in the world.”

Change Starts Here

UT’s 10-Year Strategic Plan to Increase Impact

Becoming the world’s highest-impact public research university is within our reach. Almost 140 years of expansion and achievement have positioned us for this moment. Our public mission and our reach across areas of scholarship, research, the arts and health are unique among universities and makes this goal realistic. But a goal without a plan is just a wish.

Presidential Summary

We are at a unique time for the university, for Austin, and for Texas. UT is already the flagship university, the educational and research engine of the most dynamic city in the country’s most thriving state. We have countless strengths that make us special, including the ability to create impact at scale and with a breadth of excellence that few other universities can match. And we are powered by outstanding and diverse faculty, staff, students, and alumni who have incredible talent, passion for impact, and unparalleled potential.

Download UT’s Strategic Plan


Planning for a Decade of Higher Impact

Change Starts Here is our 10-year strategic plan to increase the university’s positive impact on the world. It’s organized around three ideas that have always made UT special: our people, our place and our pursuits. This last category — pursuits — we have further divided into three parts: 1. Experience — how can we ensure a UT education is life-changing for students and that working here is a first class experience for faculty and staff? 2. Education — what does a college student need to learn today and what is the best way to teach that? And 3. Research — what are the most pressing needs of our age, and how can we better harness our intellectual power to meet this moment?

People

Serving more, serving all, and serving better

UT will pursue outstanding, high-potential students, enroll more of them and cover more of their financial need. We’ll support all people through a new Plan for an Equitable and Inclusive Campus, and effectively engage our graduates for life.

Place

Capitalizing on Austin and Texas

UT must take full advantage of this moment in the history of our city and state, as they surge as hubs of business and culture. UT will lead in health, innovation, scholarship and the arts by streamlining how we engage community partners.

Pursuits:
Experiences

Enriching UT’s community life

UT will transform the lives of the UT family through a vibrant culture and residential campus experience, smaller communities within UT, shared experiences across the university, and high-quality operations, infusing all aspects with the Longhorn spirit.

Pursuits:
Education

What should students know today, and how do they learn best?

UT will transform education with new interdisciplinary degrees, innovative teaching and linking to our research priorities. And expanding continuing and professional education will better prepare Texans for dynamic futures.

Pursuits:
Research

What are the most pressing needs of our age?

And where are we already positioned for high impact? UT will be a research leader at scale in three broad areas critical to the world: 1. energy and environment 2. technology and society and 3. health and well-being.

You Belong Here

Our Plan for an Equitable and Inclusive Campus

Our new Plan for an Equitable and Inclusive Campus presents a three-year roadmap for equity, inclusion and belonging at UT Austin. Recruiting, attracting and retaining diverse faculty, staff and student body on campus is at the core of our plan. We need a wide range of identities, perspectives and experiences in our classrooms, on our campus and in our leadership. That means ensuring equity of access and experience for all campus members while cultivating community and inclusion at UT Austin. Our message is simple: You Belong Here.

You Belong Here

Group of UT students on campus sitting at tables

What’s Next

We can only accomplish the goals in this plan with buy-in and participation from every corner of the campus. A focused and collaborative Transformation Support Office within the President’s Office will provide guidance, support and coordination campuswide. UT stakeholders will be designated to lead each initiative area, identify and implement specific actions, and refine the plan as we move forward. We will establish, track and analyze metrics and issue an updated version in 2023.

Tell Us Your Story

All members of the community are invited and encouraged to be part of the journey to make UT the highest-impact public research university in the world. While some initiatives will be initiated centrally, our colleges and schools, operating units, student and stakeholder organizations, and partners inside and outside UT will play a critical role in advancing our strategic plan. Our efforts will be transparent and measurable. Each year, UT will release an impact report that highlights and celebrates our achievements and the important and positive impact of our work as we strive to become the highest-impact public research university in the world.

Please share your story here

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Strategic Conversations

Tune in for this behind-the-scenes view from UT faculty and staff who are participating in the execution of Change Starts Here: UT’s 10-Year Strategic Plan to Increase Impact.

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We are committed to keeping you informed as we execute the strategic plan and will be sharing updates on this website, via an email newsletter and on various social media channels.


How We Got Here

In early 2021, we began the process of defining a strategic direction — a 10-year aspiration and the supporting pillars to help us achieve it. Our team, led by top faculty in partnership with the Advisory Committee, arrived at this direction after meeting regularly with more than 100 campus leaders on working teams to develop the plans, reviewing 1,500 responses from multiple surveys across campus, and ultimately reviewing the approach via 275 interviews, focus groups and working sessions with campus stakeholders. In September 2021, we published the strategic direction, along with our strategic aspirations and pillars. And in May 2022, the strategic plan, Change Starts Here, was rolled out.

1,500

Feedback

Informed by 1,500 survey respondents including those using the “Submit Your Ideas” form and surveys within UT’s Finance, IT and HR offices

275

Interviews and Focus Groups

More than 275 interviews, focus groups, and working sessions with faculty, staff, students, alumni, local business leaders, UT System leaders, Austin community leaders and others.

100

Campus Thought Leaders

More than 100 campus thought leaders including deans, VPs, staff and faculty met regularly to discuss, review and develop the plan.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do we need a strategic plan? Why now?

    We are at a critical and exciting moment for UT, Austin, higher education, and the world. We have a unique opportunity to innovate and create educational and research opportunities beyond our traditional offerings by embarking now on this Strategic Plan.

    • Texas and Austin are experiencing unprecedented growth, and developing into diverse centers of culture, arts, commerce, and education that provide opportunities for UT researchers, students and educators to engage and lead.
    • Innovation, information, and technology are rapidly overhauling many aspects of 21st century life and UT has the breadth and excellence to drive innovative research and educational engagement for the benefit of society.
    • Our significant size, capabilities, diversity and mission as Texas’ flagship university both empower and compel us to have a meaningful and positive impact on lives, communities, and social mobility in Texas and beyond.
  • How does the strategic plan align with the DEI plan and the new capital campaign?

    Change Starts Here is being coordinated with our recently launched capital campaign, What Starts Here, and DEI plan, You Belong Here, which will collectively set a course for UT towards an even more impactful, robust and inclusive future.

  • What are the key components of the strategic plan? Aspiration, Pillars, Initiative Areas and Measures of Success

    Aspiration: A compelling vision statement that describes the institution UT aims to become in the future (~10 years from now) and inspires the community.

    Our Aspiration: Become the world's highest-impact public research university, unleashing knowledge, opportunity and innovation from the heart of Texas.

    Pillars: 5 top priorities within the umbrella of the aspiration. Below is a summary that includes key elements. Please read the full strategic plan for more information. 

    PEOPLE
    We will serve more students and learners and cover more of their financial need; aggressively pursue outstanding, high-potential talent; achieve the objectives set forth in our ambitious Plan for an Equitable and Inclusive Campus; and engage our graduates for life.

    PLACE
    We will embrace and enrich the spirit of Austin and Texas by strengthening UT’s leadership role in health, innovation, talent development, scholarship, and the arts through simplifying and promoting new avenues for collaboration and taking advantage of and reimagining our campus.

    EXPERIENCES
    We will deliver exceptional, transformative experiences for students, staff, faculty, and alumni through a vibrant residential campus environment; holistic support of all students, staff, and faculty; the creation of small communities and shared campus-wide experiences; and high-quality operations.

    EDUCATION
    We will drive educational innovation​ through new degrees, interdisciplinary education, innovation in pedagogy, and linkage to our research, and we will strategically expand Continuing Professional Education offerings to prepare learners for dynamic futures.

    RESEARCH
    We will lead the world in research at scale in three broad areas of exceptional importance to Texas and the world: Technology and Society, Energy and Environment, and Health and Well-Being.

    Initiative areas: Broad areas that will comprise of initiatives that will enable UT to achieve its goals (e.g., attract outstanding staff members who are inspired by UT’s mission). Our plan has over 40 initiative areas. Please see the plan PDF to read more about these areas.

    Measures of success: Measurable results that will mark progress toward the aspiration (e.g., Reduce student debt-to-income ratio for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students) Please see the plan PDF for more details about our measures of success.

  • How will we have more impact?

    UT’s strategic plan is our refreshed vision for having positive impact at scale. Our opportunity is to work together to achieve it.

    • Our broad reach and excellence across areas of scholarship, research, the arts and health allow our faculty and students to create knowledge and impact at a breadth and depth that others can’t.
    • UT Austin is already one of the most highly regarded universities in the world with 500,000 alumni, faculty collaborations around the globe, and the iconic Longhorn brand. We have an exceptional position from which to enhance our global reach and impact.
  • How will this university-wide strategic plan interact with college, school, and unit (CSU) plans?

    CSU-level plans should be complementary to university-level plans, though they may be more specific and include distinct priorities and initiatives. To start, CSU-level plans should align with the mission, values and vision for UT. We also expect several themes to be common across both, such as diversity, equity and inclusion, and research initiatives that interconnect several disciplines. Finally, a CSU-level plan might clarify and articulate the CSU’s role in university-wide initiatives.

  • Who is responsible for creating and leading the strategic plan?

    The UT strategic planning process is led by UT leaders and engaged a broad and diverse set of faculty, staff and students through interviews, working sessions, focus groups on strengths, potential aspiration, and big ideas. The entire UT community participated by posting ideas for strategic initiatives that were based on the pillars and promoted the aspiration of the university. Over 1000 ideas were posted.

    Specific leadership roles in the Strategic Planning Process include:

    • President Hartzell, the UT Strategic Plan Advisory Committee, the Faculty Strategic Plan Leaders and key operational leaders meet regularly to oversee the development of the Strategic Plan and operational improvement efforts.
    • UT Strategic Plan Faculty Leaders (Bobby Chesney, Richard Flores, and Lauren Meyers) have led the effort to develop the Strategic Plan and engage and consult the campus on it.
    • Operational improvements are being sponsored and guided by both academic leaders and functional leaders; overall guidance is being provided by Darrell Bazzell, Larry Singell, and members of the Advisory Committee. Initiatives are led and supported by teams of staff and academic leaders to ensure operational improvements meet the needs and deliver value to all university stakeholders.
    • Communications related to the Strategic Plan and operating improvements are being led by Emily Reagan and a broad team of communicators, including faculty experts, aligned with key UT stakeholder groups.
    • Paul Kinscherff, President Hartzell’s Deputy for Business Development and Planning, coordinated the overall effort.
    • Janet Huang will lead the Transformation Support Office (TSO) beginning June 1.
  • What progress has been made to date?

    This is our plan. The process was launched by President Hartzell and came together with extensive input from the UT community.

    • It was led by three senior faculty co-chairs – Lauren Ancel Meyers, Bobby Chesney, and Richard Flores – who extensively engaged faculty, staff, students, deans, vice presidents, leadership, donors, and alumni.
    • We conducted more than 275 small and large groups that collectively added up to thousands of hours of dialogue and surveyed 1,500 individuals to understand the current situation and operational opportunities.
    • This is the beginning of our decade-long journey. Change Starts Here will evolve with our learning and circumstances as we implement the plan over the coming years.
    • Development of the You Belong Here DEI Strategic Direction was spearheaded by the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, with support from committees made up of campus stakeholders, who extensively consulted with faculty, staff and students.
  • What work remains to be completed on UT’s strategic plan?

    UT leaders will continue to work collaboratively to support development of UT’s strategic plan by mobilizing the initiatives and operational improvements. Future work will include:

    • The strategic planning team will conduct meetings across campus during the summer and fall to:
      • Tap staff and faculty with the right experiences to be “Initiative Leaders” that lead progress within each initiative area
      • Define how we will measure UT’s impact and collect, refine, group, and prioritize strategic initiatives
      • Integrate and support the development of our DE&I strategies as the DEI planning team prepares for the launch of their full plan in the fall of 2022.
    • Support initiative mobilization and leadership insights with a Transformation Support Office which will:
      • ​Build a long-term capability and mechanisms to maintain momentum with the program of effort by providing:
        • Leadership visibility and insights
        • Initiative success and change management
        • Communication, with support from University Marketing and Communications
        • Support to CSU strategy development
    • Enable each CSU to develop their own strategy, closely aligned to UTs to increase the impact of current and future efforts
    • Create and release an annual Impact Report that highlights and celebrates our achievements
  • How will UT ensure that the process continues to engage stakeholders and is inclusive of the diverse UT community?

    The UT strategic planning process engaged members across the UT community, including faculty, staff, students, deans, vice presidents, leadership, donors, and alumni, among others. We conducted more than 275 group sessions, focus groups and interviews, and 1,500 survey responses. These broad engagement efforts were foundational to the 10+ year aspiration and strategic pillars for UT. Additionally, these efforts helped identify potential initiatives that will enable us to deliver on these strategic pillars. 

    We have developed initiative areas designed to deliver on those strategic pillars and we look forward to continuing to gather broad input, engagement and support from across the UT campus community. We will continue to engage with the community as we define and launch initiatives that will help us deliver on our aspiration and create a better UT for our entire community. All staff, faculty, and students can also continue to participate in their individual CSU strategic planning efforts.

  • What were the benefits of having an external partner assist with building the strategic plan?

    President Hartzell took a comprehensive approach to defining our overarching strategy that created a roadmap for the next decade and beyond. The role of the consultants was to work collaboratively with the UT community to help formulate recommendations for UT President, Advisory Committee, and functional leader approval, to accelerate positive change, and to help build internal capabilities.

    External consultants bring prior experience, processes, and tools as well as third-party perspectives, benchmarks, and insights that help UT generate new and better ideas. They also bring a high level of focus and energy that keeps our strategic planning effort moving forward, thus enabling more analysis, faster decision-making, and broader engagement.

  • How was Bain selected?

    UT held a competitive bid process in the Spring of 2021 to select a partner to assist in developing a strategic direction; UT leaders, Faculty Council, and Staff Council were involved in the selection process.

    Ultimately, UT determined that Bain was the best choice for this vital role based both on its experience and its alignment with UT’s core values and mission. Bain has had successful engagements with Tier One universities including Berkeley, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Cornell. Bain has also engaged with Dell Medical School. Additionally, Bain is highly regarded for its commitment to workplace diversity, equity, and support for the LGBTQ+ community

  • Where can I get more information on the strategic plan?

    We are committed to transparency through the strategic planning process. This website will be the hub for all communication, and we will also be sharing updates regarding progress, findings, events and other information via an email newsletter, social media, and other channels.

    We invite you to subscribe to our newsletter if you have not yet done so. You can also listen to a new podcast called “Strategic Conversations,” on Spotify or Apple, which provides a behind the scenes view from UT faculty and staff who are participating in the process.

    Check with your college, school or unit leadership to discover the strategic planning process in your area.

    If you have a story about how your CSU’s or the university’s Strategic Plan has impacted your work, please submit it here.

    If you have additional feedback, please send an email to Internal Communications.