Today, Southwestern University announced its 2021–2026 Tactical Plan, an exciting vision of the institution’s priorities: offering an unparalleled, holistic liberal-arts education while embracing and valuing all community members and envisioning an exceptional living and learning environment. The Southwestern Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the plan. 

Led by cochairs Laura E. Skandera Trombley—Southwestern’s 16th president—and Bob Bednar, professor of communication studies and chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, the Tactical Planning Task Force (TPTF) comprised 20 members, with student, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustee representatives. Between September 2020 and April 2021, the group met remotely 23 times, including two half-day retreats. The TPTF solicited suggestions from Southwestern community members, who responded with a total of 237 recommended priorities. 

In developing the Tactical Plan, TPTF members considered which critical initiatives were of central importance for the quality, affordability, growth, and inclusiveness of Southwestern. The TPTF developed financial models that included projections about student-body size, student and faculty retention, and costs of programs and capital projects. The final version of the Tactical Plan prioritizes the following five principal goals: 

  1. Supporting student success through expanded tutoring and other academic support as well as increased financial support;
  2. Expanding Southwestern University’s outstanding academic and cocurricular programs that educate the whole person, including increasing the number of high-impact learning experiences—faculty–undergraduate research, paid internships, study abroad, and community-engaged learning—to enable all students to have multiple opportunities to engage;
  3. Building, renovating, and expanding new academic and residential buildings and strengthening technological infrastructure;
  4. Fostering diversity, inclusion, belonging, and equity for all members of the Southwestern community; and
  5. Ensuring that compensation for faculty, staff, and student employees is appropriate and reflects national and regional cohort groups and salary studies.

Learn more about Southwestern University’s 2021–2026 Tactical Plan here.

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