In January 2016, the Board of Regents formally adopted its strategic plan, Utah: A State of Opportunity. The plan addresses key issues facing higher education in Utah, including increasing capacity to serve 50,000+ new students by 2025, and increasing the educational attainment of Utahns to meet workforce demand. The strategic plan follows the long-term objectives for higher education in Utah, approved by the Board of Regents and aimed at providing an intentional focus on USHE priorities, programs, and initiatives to address the aforementioned key higher education issues: Affordable Participation, Timely Completion, and Innovative Discovery.
To evaluate improvement in these areas, USHE set ambitious ten-year goals, the progress of which will be measured through specific metrics and reported to the Board of Regents annually:
- Goal: Increase the number of Utahns who decide to access, are prepared for, and succeed in higher education
- Metric: Increase the percentage of Utah high school graduates enrolling in college within five years from 66% to 75% by 2025.
- Goal: Increase the percentage of students who persist in and graduate from higher education.
- Metric: Increase degree productivity to 28 awards per 100 FTE (from 25 currently) by 2025.
- Goal: Encourage innovation as a core value at each USHE institution, in keeping with its distinct mission.
- Metric: Regularly assess student involvement in high-impact learning practices.
In order to meet these goals, it is estimated that a consistent annual investment of 5.2% in appropriated state funds is needed. (This is 30% above the ten-year historical average of 4%.) This 5.2% investment from the state will still require increased investment from students as well, through tuition increases and student growth. This investment in higher education would have a large return for Utah: USHE graduates will contribute more than $150 billion to Utah’s economy over the next decade.