Main Navigation

Home Strategic Initiatives

We have the opportunity, as Utah’s flagship university, to lead our community by showing the value of education and benefits of learning through research, inquiry and cooperation.  Over the past five years, the U made remarkable progress on its four strategic goals: knowledge transfer, student success, community engagement, and ensuring the institution’s long-term viability.  Now, with the Strategy Refresh initiative, University leadership, has crafted a new path for the next five years at the university grounded on the mission statement of the university to foster student success by preparing students from diverse backgrounds for lives of impact as leaders and citizens.  To generate and share new knowledge, discoveries, and innovations, and engage local and global communities to promote education, health, and quality of life. These contributions, in addition to responsible stewardship of our intellectual, physical, and financial resources, ensure the long‐term success and viability of the institution.

New Resource Generation

The Univerisity of Utah has generated incremental revenue to provide ongoing support for student initiatives and excellence.

Operational Efficiencies

Ensure that public resources are spent as intended, within authorized limits, and following sound financial management principles.

Resource Stewardship

The university has created a dedicated group to explore the challenge of reallocating and maximizing current resources.

Times are Changing

The financial landscape of higher education is evolving given a new economic reality.  Rising costs have outpaced inflation while funding for public institutions has been declining.  Delivery methods of obtaining a high quality degree are also evolving fostered by fast-paced growth in the tech sector, resulting in challenges to the value to society of pursuing a ‘traditional’ four-year degree.  Non-traditional educational providers such as Amazon and Google are breaking the educational mold.  As a result, many institutions are scrambling to maintain a place in higher-ed while facing financial challenges.  Developing strategic third-party partnerships that leverage the education based mission of a University while lessening the financial burden has become a creative means to create new funding opportunities for higher education.  As a leading university, the University of Utah shares the responsibility to address these issues.

Next Steps

Strategic planning began in spring 2019, initiated by the university president.  The effort has been guided by gathering input and ideas from town halls, crowdsourcing, and feedback from individual campus units.  Then, the President’s Cabinet and campus leadership teams reviewed and prioritized the data to shape attainable goals and implementation began in the spring of 2020.  This strategy aligns with the approach of advancing our mission to put students first and maintain long-term viability.  During this process, it is important to lead with strategy.  The university is continually evaluating non-core assets and activities and considering roles for third-party partners to utilize expertise to achieve university goals and objectives.  The strategy considers monetizing non-core assets to unlock capital in support of the academic mission of the university and carefully assessing opportunities within the university risk management framework.

Implementation of Strategy


Through innovative funding, administrative efficiencies and careful resource stewardship, the University of Utah is actively committed to innovative approaches to support our mission as a leading national flagship research university. New resource generation, operational excellence and resource stewardship are key focuses of our strategic plan.


Identifying strategic categories and evaluating the merits and risks of each is the first step in creating campus-wide affinity partnerships. Strategic categories are selected based on the feasibility of implementing a partnership within a category and both the short and long-term needs of The University.


Once a strategic category is identified, our team of business analysts and industry professionals researches the business category relying heavily on subject matter experts from across campus. During this step, we meet with companies and potential partners to understand how The University can add value to their business.


After researching the business, we work with all stakeholders, on and off-campus, to determine an implementation plan which includes building a financial model, determining the scope of the partnership and soliciting feedback from all parties involved.


After gathering feedback from potential partners and socializing the partnership opportunity with all campus stakeholders, the finalized plan is presented to campus leadership and vetted by The Office of General Counsel before negotiations start. In some cases, a request for proposal may need to be issued.


New Resource Generation

The University of Utah has generated incremental revenue to provide ongoing support for access, affordability and excellence.  These funds are supporting student scholarships, teaching excellence and other key presidential priorities.



In 2017 the University executed a 10 year pouring rights agreement with PepsiCo with a total value more than 4x that of the previous contract.  The agreement incorporates an academic component that was custom-designed to benefit University of Utah students through deeply engaged learning opportunities.


Operational Excellence

Executing our strategy more effectively, consistently and reliably with lower operational risk, lower operating costs, and increased returns.


Venue REntal website

With an exceptional offering of versatile facilities, the U of U has a meeting room, classroom, or lecture hall to fit any and all event and conference needs. Consolidated University space rental opportunities in a single portal better facilitate space rental queries for internal and external patrons.


Resource Stewardship

The university encourages a sustainable and responsible approach to managing resources that looks towards the needs of future generations.


Digital Signs

The U campus is moving toward being completely digital. We are removing analog signs from campus and installing new, state-of-the-art digital signage that includes interactive wayfinding. These signs provide a single solution digital signage system that serves the informational, promotional, branding, entertainment, and emergency broadcast needs of the University as a whole.


Have an idea? We want to hear it!

The University of Utah stands ready to build upon existing strengths and advance our focus on our core mission which is to further our four goals of knowledge transfer, student success, engage communities and ensure vitality.  The university’s path forward is bright and full of hope as we uplift and build relationships with students, staff, faculty, community and friends.

Contact Us