Board of Regents updates its strategic directions and goals

To further define the Board of Regents proposed strategic directions and goals for 2015, the Board has approved three main goals to focus on to “to provide a high quality, efficient, and economical public system of higher education through centralized direction and master planning” (Utah Code Annotated, 53B-1-101). During the past several months the Board has held informal discussions among themselves, the Commissioner, and USHE presidents, to further refine the strategic directions and goals for the Utah System of Higher Education. The result of these discussions are three main directions and goals to use as a starting point for additional strategic planning by the Board and the Utah System of Higher Education in 2015.

Our Purpose: Higher Education advances the prosperity and quality of life for all Utahns.

Our Target: 66 percent of adults ages 25-35 will have earned a post-secondary degree or certificate by 2020.

Our Strategic Objectives: Affordable participation, timely completion, and innovative discovery


Our strategic objectives include:

Affordable Participation

Goal: Increase the number of Utahns who decide to access, are prepared for, and succeed in higher education, using 66by2020 enrollment targets.


  • Improve student financial support
  • Advocacy for state support to address capacity, and maintaining and improving quality
  • Provide more active outreach to first-generation, economically disadvantaged, and returning adults
  • Encourage college readiness with a goal that every high school graduate is prepared for college
  • Improve ease of access

 Timely Completion

Goal: Increase the percentage of students who persist and graduate, using USHE institution performance relative to 66by2020 graduation targets.


  • 15 to Finish (15 hours should be considered full-time, not 12).*
  • Plateau Tuition—continue to inform students and parents about the financial as well as time advantages of taking 15 credits for the same tuition cost as 12 (available at seven institutions).*
  •  Semester-by-semester degree maps with recommended courses for each major.*
  • Encourage students to enroll in an appropriate math class during their first year of college.*
  • Increase reverse-transfer (stackable certificates and associate degree on the way to bachelor’s degree).*
  • Encourage strategies to increase engaged learning (high impact practices), such as:
    a. Peer-to-peer student collaborations
    b. Service learning
    c. Internships
    d. Integrated and well-articulated general education.

* Completion strategies adopted by the Board of Regents in July 2013; direction to institutions to set three and five-year goals by January 2015 adopted by Board of Regents in July 2014. The July 2014 directions adopted by the Board contain more detail than is presented here.

 Innovative Discovery

Goal: Encourage innovation as a core value at each USHE institution, in keeping with its distinct mission. USHE is a “knowledge enterprise,” engaged in the creation and dissemination of knowledge.


  • Encourage innovation and best practices in models of teaching and learning at each institution.
  • Ensure that each student meets the Essential Learning Outcomes (including student critical thinking, quantitative literacy, communication, and teamwork skills) in order to foster a culture of innovation, collaboration and life-long learning.
  • Support research universities’ mission of creating new knowledge through cutting-edge research.
  • Support regional universities’ and community colleges’ roles in applied research and encouraging faculty to stay current in their field.
  • Encourage high-impact learning experiences for undergraduates at all institutions.
  • Encourage partnerships with business community to support academic missions and meet workforce needs.