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Academic Strategic Plan

In Service to Humanity

Vanderbilt University aspires to shape the future of higher education and to foster the creation of knowledge that together improve the human condition.

A vision guided by our goals

  • to pursue excellence in education by offering experiences that merge the advantages of a liberal arts college with those of a world-class research university
  • to pursue excellence in scholarship, creative expression, and research that address important problems and questions facing our community, our country, and the world
  • to leverage the many synergies between discovery, learning, and service across our entire community of scholars and learners to seek accomplishment and seize opportunities
  • to be transparent and accountable to all the University's constituencies
  • in sum, to be among the very best research universities in the world

In pursuing these goals, Vanderbilt will fully commit to cultivating an environment for learning across a broad base of humanist, social, and natural science disciplines. We also commit to investing in creative expression and fundamental research. Further, we commit to ensuring diversity of all forms in the pursuit of excellence in learning and discovery.

Four Central Themes

These 4 themes capture Vanderbilt’s goals and aspirations. The themes intentionally intersect in scope and vision.

The Undergraduate Residential Experience

Trans-Institutional Programs

Education Technologies

Healthcare Solutions


Action Phase

Implementation of the strategic plan began in earnest in the fall of 2014, launching the Action Phase. As we approach the fall of 2016, we will continue developing, implementing and refining efforts outlined in the plan. In anticipation of the Impact Phase, initiatives and programs are being tracked, measured and reported. Feedback is continually solicited and incorporated back into the process. 


Discovery and Learning: An Academic Strategic Plan in Service to Humanity

In the summer of 2013, Vanderbilt launched an intensive and bold strategic planning process. The resulting plan leverages our distinctive culture of civility, creativity and collaboration in the pursuit of new levels of achievement. Our future excellence will converge at the intersection of teaching and discovery, where the best of the liberal arts college tradition meets the creativity of a world-class research university.