Strategic Plan Receives Final Approval from Board of Trustees

The 10-year plan, in development since fall 2011, details the specific actions the university will take in education, research and service initiatives.

May 17, 2013

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The George Washington University Board of Trustees on Friday gave approval to a new 10-year strategic plan that will steer the university into its third century.

The plan is informed by four theme areas: innovation through cross-disciplinary collaboration, globalization of educational and research programs, expansion of programs that focus on governance and policy in the public and private sectors and infusion of ideas of citizenship and leadership into everything the university does.

“Great universities are stronger than the sum of their parts, and the initiatives outlined in our strategic plan are designed to ensure that this is true at the George Washington University,” said Provost Steven Lerman, who has led the development of the plan since fall 2011. “I’m thankful for the support of our trustees, and I look forward to working with them as we implement the actions recommended in the plan over the next decade.”

Those actions are grouped by what defines a GW education, the goals of GW’s research and how serve enhances the GW community.

Education-focused initiatives include:

  • Creating a more unified undergraduate educational experience
  • Admitting undergraduate students to the university as a whole rather than to individual schools
  • Designing a new core curriculum
  • Increasing global aspects of curricula and doubling the number of students from abroad
  • Focusing on quality of education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics
  • Enhancing post-graduation opportunities for students


Research-focused initiatives include:

  • Creating eight to 12 cross-disciplinary institutes with financial support to fund research in new fields
  • Hiring 50 to 100 new faculty members in specific areas of research
  • Improving the infrastructure that supports research
  • Encouraging applied, translational and policy research that works toward solutions to significant societal problems


Service-focused initiatives include:

  • Developing ways to communicate research results to the general public
  • Making GW a leader in shaping national dialogue in academic strength areas
  • Expanding the university’s role as a model institutional citizen


The plan will be funded with resources generated through philanthropy, Innovation Task Force savings, additional funds from the university’s academic budget, school-based resources and sponsored research.

Developing the strategic plan has been a nearly two-year process, beginning when Dr. Lerman appointed a steering committee of faculty members and senior administrators in fall 2011. The committee defined the plan’s four broad themes and formed working groups including faculty, staff and students to further develop each one. Throughout the process, Dr. Lerman hosted more than 90 forums and town halls to consult with faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni and parents.