Viability and Investment

The University of Akron Strategic Plan

Promises and Aspirations​

roman-1.jpgWell-Being & Stewardship​

Promise I

To cultivate a culture and community where everyone can flourish and be responsible stewards of the University’s resources and infrastructure.

1. Strategically grow and invest the University’s financial resources and enhance our operational
capabilities and infrastructure.

  1. Grow strategic and innovative partnerships and services that will diversify, expand and fortify the University’s revenue-
    generation streams and reduce the University’s debt burden.
  2. Continue to modernize and optimize the University’s infrastructure, including achieving full implementation of Workday
    Student® and optimizing integration of Slate and Stellic.
  3. Intentionally and authentically connect with prospective students to increase FAFSA submissions and allow UA to offer the
    most competitive aid package.

1. Empower University employees and students to support one another.

  1. Inventory and analyze our existing systems and programs to best support the holistic well-being of our people.
  2.  Leverage technology to connect students and employees with available resources.
  3. Optimize our employee engagement, professional development and performance management programs by
    leveraging Workday.
  4. Grow the skills of our workforce by assessing skills demand versus supply and developing training programs to
    bridge gaps.

2023 Progress Highlights


A. Developing a budget model that incentivizes enrollment growth across the University, including those that involve interdisciplinary collaborations.


  • Greater Transparency: Higher levels of budget transparency were achieved through simplified reporting, consistent
    terminology, and training.
  • Collaborative Strategic Planning: The budget transitioned from a highly centralized model to a distributed all-funds model to enhance shared decision making and strategic investment.
  • Improved Communications: Implemented midyear budget review meetings with deans and non-academic units to review budget and discuss strategic initiatives for the remainder of the year.
  • Increased Shared Governance: The UC Budget and Finance Committee and the Faculty Senate Academic Investment Committee (AIC) are integrated into the budget process.
  • Digital Finance Practice: Made significant progress toward an increasingly digital platform with the implementation of Workday, which enables key university constituents to enter and access data to inform planning and decision making.

Key Contact Area: Finance and Administration

B. Organizing faculty and staff efforts to promote increases in retention and progression.


  • Strengthened Student Pathways: Realigned student pathways with the student success center and increased exploratory advising opportunities as recommended by an advising taskforce.
  • Expanded Learning Communities: Building a common experience among students with nearly 40 learning communities.
  • First Year Experience (FYE): The FYE taskforce launched in Fall 2022. Five subcommittees are working in the following areas: (I) revisions to the Akron Experience course, (II) Learning Communities, (III) Transfer Student Experience, (IV) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, and (V) Academic Support Services.
  • High Impact Practices: In June 2023, UA participated in the AAC&U Strengthening High Impact Practices Institute with a focus on increasing student participation and embedding equity in the Akron Experience Course and Learning Communities.

Key Contact Area: Student Success Center

C. Increasing faculty and staff interactions with current and prospective students both on and off campus.


  • Enhanced Communication with Students: A strategic communication campaign including direct mail, email, text messaging, personalized messaging and messages from campus leaders targeted students at every step of the enrollment process to achieve continual engagement, invite students to campus events and encourage next steps in the enrollment process.
  • Confirmation Campaign: Efforts to increase confirmations include individual visits, daily information sessions and campus tours, an email drip campaign to encourage confirmations and college engagement with admitted students.
  • Reaching Prospective Students: UA purchased the Slate CRM system to increase the efficiency of reaching prospective and current students. Full implementation to be achieved 2023-2024.
  • UA Libraries Reaches Students: University Libraries staff and faculty participated in orientations and visit days. University Libraries formed and fully staffed a UL User Experience and Engagement unit to identify and act on opportunities for user- centered design across the libraries.

Key Contact Area: University Communications and Marketing & University Admissions

D. Increasing regional yield and rebuilding non-resident (both international and out-of-state domestic) enrollments.


  • Hired a new Vice Provost for Enrollment Management: Dr. Stephen McKellips provides leadership while engaging in innovative approaches to enrollment management and decision-making in the areas of admissions, recruitment, financial aid services and enrollment.
  • Expanding Regional Awareness: A general awareness marketing campaign was launched in Cincinnati, Columbus and Pittsburgh.
  • Engaging International Agents: Developed strategies and built relationships to increase interest and applications from around the world.
  • Expanding Institutional Efficiencies: Evaluated student-serving services that expand student access and opportunities, improve student communication channels and reduce processing costs simultaneously.
  • Recalibrated Financial Aid Offerings: Financial aid offerings were adjusted to phase out the Akron Guarantee Scholarship, re-establish the Presidential Scholarship and provide the Zips Affordability Scholarship. Relatedly, current financial aid system(s) are being optimized to maximize impact.

Key Contact Area: Enrollment Management & University Communications and Marketing

E. Sharpening our storytelling of the Akron Experience—what students, faculty, alumni, and the community gain from their interaction with The University of Akron.


  • Building Student Storytelling: UA Students were featured on Season 6 of the TV series, The College Tour, and were invited to share a day in the life of a Zip through takeovers of the UA social media channels.
  • Empowering Zip Ambassadors: UCM developed materials to empower Zips to become strong ambassadors of UA, helping academic areas provide better presentations to prospective students, tell their stories, and engage with prospective students.
  • Developing UA Envisioning Workshop: Over 65 campus members have participated in a workshop to foster creative thinking and community building around the strategic plan, aspirations, and key results.
  • Sharing our story: UA continued the Good News with Gary podcast and published three issues of The University of Akron Magazine to tell the stories of students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors.
  • Community Connections: EX[L] launched the Akron Community Engaged Scholars program for faculty who demonstrate a
    commitment to public impact.

Key Contact Area: University Communications and Marketing

Promises and Aspirations​

Strategic Plan


Well-Being & Stewardship​


Academic Opportunity​


Inclusive Excellence & Belonging​


Research & Innovation​​


Community & Connections​​