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To the Vanderbilt Community,

At Vanderbilt, we firmly believe it takes collaboration, ambition and a sound strategy to achieve excellence — whether on the field of play or in the classroom.

Candice Storey Lee, Interim Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Interim Athletic Director
Candice Storey Lee, Interim Vice Chancellor for Athletics and
University Affairs and Interim Athletic Director

Indeed, the best plans are based on precise research, an honest assessment of strengths and weaknesses and a careful examination of the competition. Successful plans — like many efforts at Vanderbilt — rely on trust, transparency and teamwork at every turn. They are nothing without faithful execution, open communication and a willingness to adjust along the way.

As we have developed Vanderbilt’s Strategic Plan for Athletics, we’ve adopted many of the skills embodied by our university community: extensive research, careful planning, consensus-building and transparency. We talked to students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, fans, coaches, student-athletes, media, industry experts and more. Through focus groups, surveys, one-on-one conversations and a series of planning meetings, we have embraced different perspectives in our community and created a plan that will lead us all forward.

Susan R. Wente, Interim Chancellor and Provost
Susan R. Wente, Interim Chancellor and Provost

Vanderbilt’s Strategic Plan for Athletics is guided by our vision to deliver the preeminent student-athlete experience in college athletics, providing the opportunity for our student-athletes to succeed in all areas of their lives. It details our commitment to innovation and leadership through five key areas of operation: Academic and Personal Development, Athletic Excellence, Stakeholder Engagement, Fan Experience and Financial Performance.

Our success with the Strategic Plan for Athletics relies on the entire Vanderbilt community and will require many different teams to work actively, cooperatively and closely together.

As with any plan, success comes not from words on paper but from action in the real world. Our success with the Strategic Plan for Athletics relies on the entire Vanderbilt community and will require many different teams to work actively, cooperatively and closely together. When we all know where we’re headed, we can each play our part in helping to reach our goals.

Vanderbilt is a special place and our supporters are amazing people. We truly appreciate your passionate support of the hardest-working student-athletes in the country.

Together, guided by Vanderbilt’s Strategic Plan for Athletics, we are Growing Forward.

Anchor Down!

Candice Storey Lee
Interim Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Interim Athletic Director

Susan R. Wente
Interim Chancellor and Provost

A PROGRAM WITH A PURPOSE

The mission of Vanderbilt University Athletics is to prepare student-athletes to become leaders and champions by placing the highest values on integrity, character, sportsmanship and victory.

VANDERBILT’S PROMISE OF EXCELLENCE

As a university, Vanderbilt delivers on a promise of excellence. As an athletics department, we have identified significant existing strengths that will serve as platforms from which we will continue to deliver, build and improve:

  • Proven track record of academic excellence and an integrated experience
  • Measure of competitive success with five national championships and multiple conference titles
  • Emphasis on sustained integrity and exceptional leadership – on and off the field
  • Rich and pioneering history and commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Focus on personal development and service opportunities

Opportunities for Future Success

Our Athletics Department must reflect the excellence of the Vanderbilt Way and fully deliver on its promise for all our student-athletes.

We must strategically address the following opportunities facing the Vanderbilt Athletics Department:

  • Ensure our resources and facilities provide our student-athletes with every ability to maximize their full potential
  • Continue to expand our comprehensive career development resources to allow our student-athletes to reach, and succeed in, their desired fields of work
  • Deepen our communication with our fans, alumni and community, all of whom have expressed a strong desire for a successful athletics department that transparently articulates its vision and strategy
  • Increase self-generated funding by creating new revenue streams and improving existing ones
  • Sustain a winning organization for employees of the Vanderbilt Athletics Department

A CLEAR DIRECTION

We formed a core team of athletics, faculty and central administrative representatives to create our strategy.

We formed a core team of athletics, faculty and central administrative representatives to create our strategy.

Vanderbilt University’s Strategic Plan for Athletics – GUIDING FRAMEWORK

Graphic of guiding framework

VISION

To deliver the preeminent student-athlete experience in college athletics, providing the opportunity for our student-athletes to succeed in all areas.

FOUR GOALPOSTS

Service

Together, we will serve our stakeholders and hold ourselves accountable to Vanderbilt University Athletics Department’s mission – to become the preeminent model for the holistic student-athlete experience.

Growth

Together, we will invest in the required resources for our student-athletes to develop and grow — in the classroom, on the field, and in the professional field of their choice.

Prosperity

Together, we will reap the benefits of our efforts while standing for integrity and exceptional leadership. We will seek to prosper and win — both on and off the field.

Sustainability

Together, we will create an environment for sustained excellence, building a fundamental philosophy and core ethos designed to last.

FIVE STRATEGIC FOCUS AREAS

To achieve our vision and deliver on our values, five strategic focus areas have been identified. Each has strategic initiatives designed to drive execution.

1. Academic & Personal Development

Use our Athletics platform as a model for the commitment to academic and personal development espoused by Vanderbilt University.

2. Athletic Excellence

Optimize the ability of our student-athletes to win and consistently compete for championships across our entire sports portfolio.

3. Stakeholder Engagement

Actively work with our partners across the university, alumni and the Nashville community through regular communication, outreach and engagement.

4. Fan Experience

Raise the prominence of the Vanderbilt Athletics brand and deepen our community impact by delivering an engaging fan experience.

5. Financial Performance

Increase self-generated funding through creating new revenue streams and improving existing ones.


1. ACADEMIC & PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Fulfill our mission to be the preeminent student-athlete model in college athletics through continued academic excellence, while promoting additional personal and professional development opportunities.

  • Holistic Programming: Maintain our focus on the academic excellence and integrity of our student- athletes and expand academic, career, personal leadership, development, and mental health services and programming to ensure sustained success.
  • Career Development: Amplify our professional development services by enhancing our internship program and building connections with top-ranked national and international employers. Further, we will leverage our industry connections to create athlete-specific career pathways.
  • Alumni Engagement: Extend the relationship between student-athletes and Vanderbilt post- graduation by creating formal mentorship communities for all sports. Establish an alumni association to enrich engagement and connection with former student-athletes.
  • Spur Innovation: Encourage student-athletes to pursue innovation through a potential partnership with the Wond’ry and other campus/community partners.
  • NCAA Policy Preparedness: By building a proactive and nimble organization, we will ensure we are prepared to meet any potential changes to NCAA policy or legislation.

2. ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE

Optimize the ability for our student-athletes to consistently compete and win at the highest levels across our entire sports portfolio.

  • Training Facilities: Provide the requisite training, development and sports performance facilities (as determined by the Master Facility Plan).
  • Competition Facilities: Build or renovate competition venues (as determined by the Master Facility Plan) to achieve the standard needed for impact.
  • Sports Performance Programming: Design and deliver a cohesive and integrated Sports Performance Program that offers top-quality mental health, sports psychology, strength and conditioning, rehabilitation, sports medicine and nutrition resources. Focus on utilization of technology, innovation and partnerships with the campus and community.
  • Coaching Staff: Continue to attract, retain and develop championship-caliber coaches to ensure the maximum development of our student-athletes.
  • Value Proposition: Attract the very best by designing and activating our value proposition consistent with Vanderbilt’s mission statement and the Nashville experience: The Degree. The City. The SEC.

3. STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

Actively work with our partners across the university, alumni and the Nashville community through regular communication, outreach and engagement.

  • Faculty and Student Engagement: Focus on better methods to serve our students, faculty and administration by building strong connections and fostering richer engagement with our campus community.
  • Community Connection: Expand athletics-specific programming for the greater Nashville community through an expanded slate of club sport options, recreation leagues, and varied curriculum for camps and events throughout the year.
  • Multi-Use Infrastructure: Design and leverage our athletics infrastructure as multi-use and multi- functional spaces.

4. FAN EXPERIENCE

Raise the prominence of the Vanderbilt Athletics brand and deepen community impact by delivering a highly engaging fan experience.

  • Game Day Experience: Optimize the game day experience through refreshed pre-game and in- game programming, additional fan engagement opportunities, improved food and beverage options, and alternate viewing and entertainment options.
  • Relationship Building: Deepen and retain existing relationships with our fans by designing year- long engagement models and enhancing feedback mechanisms to track and incorporate input. Enhance engagement events in areas with key alumni support.
  • New Fan Acquisition: Attract new fans to Vanderbilt Athletics by designing targeted outreach and improving the quality of information to key groups.

5. FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

Increase self-generated funding by creating new revenue streams and improving existing ones.

  • Fundraising: Focus on increasing philanthropic contributions to annual giving and capital campaigns through increased donor stewardship and outreach.
  • Other Revenue Streams: Continue our emphasis on financial sustainability while expanding our major streams of revenue through a renewed dedication to licensing and sponsorship efforts. Explore additional self-generated revenue streams.
  • Endowments: Seek to endow scholarships and major administrative positions and head coaching roles.

GROWING FORWARD

We want to express our gratitude to all members of the Vanderbilt community who contributed input and feedback during the strategic planning process. We know that Vanderbilt is great because of the power of many. Our efforts to shape the future of Vanderbilt Athletics would not have been possible without the passion and engagement from our student-athletes, coaches, staff, university partners, faculty, alumni, donors and fans.

We recognize that we have undertaken an ambitious path for growth and that we have an exciting and challenging journey ahead of us. Hard work and diligence will be critical to our success.

Together, we will make a difference on the field, on the court, in the classroom and in our community. We will immerse ourselves in learning and discovery and work together toward a bright future for us all.

We know where we want to go, and we know the way to get there.

One Way. The Vanderbilt Way.