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UT Strategic Plan




UT Strategic Planning Process

This is our moment. In a rapidly changing world, we have a once-in-a-generation chance to position ourselves for the future. This is why we’re embarking upon a strategic planning process — so we can seize new opportunities and identify new directions that support our teaching, research, and service missions. Read on to learn about the strategic direction we have adopted during this opening phase of the process, and get ready to share your ideas as we move to the next phase: identifying and prioritizing the bold initiatives that will help us achieve our aspiration.

Leadership Reflections

President Jay Hartzell

"Strategy conversations start with a basic question: What is our goal? Do we want to be the top-ranked public research university? And, what do we even mean by that? Or, do we want to have the prestige or selectivity of Ivy League schools? Do we want to boast that our graduates go on to earn the highest salaries or go to the best graduate schools?

These are all good things, but as a leadership team, our aspiration is much broader. For us, a word that keeps coming up again and again in our conversations is IMPACT.

UT has an incredible combination of advantages, and we’re in a unique position. With those, how can we do more to change the world? The flag we’re planting is that UT should become the world’s highest-impact public research university.”

— President Jay Hartzell

Our Strategic Direction: Aspiration and Pillars

Earlier this year, 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 faculty leaders in partnership with our Advisory Committee, arrived at this direction after conducting more than 100 interviews and focus groups with faculty, staff, students and alumni, reviewing 1500 responses from multiple surveys across campus, and ultimately reviewing and refining the approach via 60 small group sessions with campus stakeholders. You can learn more about the ideas and themes underpinning this direction by reading the supporting narrative or listening to President Jay Hartzell’s State of the University Address.

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


An exceptional, diverse community of learners and scholars, leaders and trailblazers...
  • Attract outstanding, high-potential students, faculty and staff
  • Cultivate a distinctive UT culture of excellence, inclusivity, equity and innovation
  • Foster free and open discourse to enhance knowledge and understanding
  • Engage Longhorns for life, personally and professionally


...amplifying the unmatched potential of Austin and Texas...
  • Embrace and enrich the growth and spirit of Austin and Texas
  • Partner with industry, community and government to pioneer new models of service, learning, health care and research
  • Enhance life, work, health and learning by creating next-generation university environments on and beyond our campus


...and changing the world through transformative...


  • Propel the individual passions and journeys of our students, faculty, staff and alumni
  • Ignite a strong sense of belonging, community and purpose
  • Embody our public mission to serve Texas, the United States and the world
  • Deliver excellence at every touchpoint through outstanding personnel, operations and technology


  • Boldly innovate undergraduate, graduate and lifelong education for a dynamic, digital and global future
  • Deepen the integration between instruction and experience, research and service
  • Equip and inspire students for a lifetime of success, leadership and impact


  • Advance ambitious research, scholarship and creative arts
  • Tackle society's biggest challenges in key areas of interdisciplinary strength, including Energy & Environment, Health & Well-Being, and Technology & Society
  • Operate best-in-class research infrastructure and resources

Share Your Ideas

Having just concluded the first phase to set our direction, we are moving into phase two, where we are asking every member of our community — faculty, staff and students — to participate in transforming these aspirations into reality, by helping us identify, design and implement initiatives. If you have an idea for an initiative that supports our strategic direction, please share it with our university strategic planning team.

Share Your Input

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the key objectives of the strategic planning process?

    The key objectives are:

    • Develop a strategic plan to ensure that UT delivers on its mission, purpose and values for the next 10 years and beyond

    • Invest in university priorities to improve student, staff and faculty experience

    • Leverage the strategic planning process to create a series of clear strategic priorities

    • Build capabilities across UT to enable high-quality implementation and continuous improvement

    • Identify opportunities to reinvest resources in university priorities

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

    We have a once-in-a-generation chance to innovate and create educational and research opportunities beyond our traditional offerings by embarking now on a strategic planning process. The plan will help us achieve our bold ambition to be among the nation’s very best public research universities, competitive with elite private universities, global in its impact, and preferred by the most talented faculty, students and staff.

    COVID-19 and recent events have especially highlighted the importance of this work on the strategic plan. We have the opportunity to bring fresh thinking to what a university education and research could be. The leadership team will define guidelines and boundaries given the situation, with a focus on excellence in all we do. The prospects are exciting, including creating a more vibrant and engaging educational experience on campus or online, potentially investing in relevant research centers, creating a more diverse and welcoming environment for people from all backgrounds, and projecting UT’s positive influence to the global community.

  • What are the key components of the strategic plan?

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

    Pillars: 4-6 top priorities within the umbrella of the aspiration (e.g., driving state and global economic impact)

    Goals: Measurable results that will mark progress toward the aspiration (e.g., increase faculty, staff and student sense of belonging by X%)

    Initiative: Concrete activities within each pillar to help achieve goals (e.g., expand and create new dedicated community spaces)

  • 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 will be responsible for creating the strategic plan?

    The UT strategic planning process will be led by UT leaders but engage 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 can participate by posting ideas for strategic initiatives that are based on the pillars and promote the aspiration of the university.

    Specifically, the strategic planning process will be led by an Advisory Committee responsible for overseeing the effort and approving recommendations. There will also be working teams responsible for directing the effort, including governance of strategic priority design, deliverables and eventual implementation road map.

  • How will UT ensure the process engages stakeholders and is inclusive of the diverse UT community?

    The UT strategic planning process has engaged members across the UT community, including faculty, staff, students, deans, vice presidents, leadership, donors and alumni, among others, through interviews and focus groups. These broad engagement efforts were foundational to the 10+ year aspiration and strategic pillars for UT. Additionally, these efforts have helped identify potential initiatives that will enable us to deliver on these strategic pillars. In the phases of work to come, we will develop detailed initiatives 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. For example, we have created a feedback form on this website above to gather ideas on potential initiatives, and we will continue to engage with the community as we review, define, select and launch initiatives that will help us deliver on our aspiration and create a better UT for our entire community.

  • How will I be kept informed?

    This website will be the hub for all communication regarding the strategic planning process. 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.

  • How can I get involved?

    We appreciate your interest and are very excited to have you participate! If you have ideas for strategic initiatives based on the pillars, please submit them here. We welcome your ideas! Please also subscribe to our newsletter for additional opportunities for participation.

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