Three students at Penn State Beaver smile as they look at a computer together.

Our Commitment to Impact
The Pennsylvania State University’s Strategic Plan for 2016 to 2020

Executive Summary

The Pennsylvania State University’s strategic plan for the five calendar years comprising 2016 through 2020 is the result of a broad and inclusive two-year process that involved unit-level planning for 48 academic and administrative units across the University. In concert, this overarching institutional plan was developed.

Penn State’s vision, mission, and institutional values are interwoven throughout this plan, and they ultimately drive its success. Six foundations underpin all University endeavors and are considered fundamental to implementing this plan. These foundations—Enabling Access to Education, Engaging Our Students, Fostering and Embracing a Diverse World, Enhancing Global Engagement, Driving Economic Development, and Ensuring a Sustainable Future—connect to, empower, and sustain our values as an institution.

This Plan’s five thematic priorities are:

  1. Transforming Education. Penn State will be a leader in the transformation of education, including enhancing access to it, as it fulfills its land-grant mission in a 21st-century context and continues to drive discovery-focused research across disciplines.
  2. Enhancing Health. Penn State will be a leader in promoting quality of life through comprehensive approaches to enhancing personalized and population health, achieved through a commitment to and investment in relevant research, education, clinical practice, and outreach.
  3. Stewarding Our Planet’s Resources. Penn State will be a leader in creating comprehensive solutions to mitigate the dangers of climate change and address the challenges of providing safe and abundant water, clean and renewable energy sources, and plentiful and nutritious food.
  4. Advancing the Arts and Humanities. Penn State will be a leader in the arts and humanities, utilizing them—along with the sciences and other disciplines—as agents of change in addressing complex global issues.
  5. Driving Digital Innovation. Penn State will be a leader in preparing students for success in the digital age and use digitally optimized outreach to foster economic prosperity in communities across Pennsylvania and beyond.

This Plan’s supporting elements comprise:

  • Organizational Processes. Penn State will lead nationally in the design, development, and deployment of effective and agile organizational processes that support the University’s mission and vision.
  • Infrastructure and Support. Penn State will think creatively and act boldly to ensure that its academic infrastructure aligns with and supports the University’s mission and vision.
  • Constituent Outreach and Engagement. Penn State will partner directly and effectively with our constituencies in sharing consequential research, creative works, and scholarship for impact worldwide.

General implementation considerations cited at the end of this document provide a framework within which the plan’s ambitious goals will be achieved.

During a time of rapid societal change worldwide, the University’s strategic plan is a powerful beacon that will guide the institution to achieve even more meaningful accomplishments and deliver more benefits to the constituencies it serves. Penn State is excited about this plan and the hard work of delivering on its intent to make a University-wide commitment to impact.