Image of UD's campus on a beautiful, sunny day.

Forward and Forever:

The Strategic Plan for
the University of Delaware

University of Delaware President, Dennis Assanis.


The University of Delaware finds itself at a pivotal moment in its long and treasured history, one that calls for our deep reflection and renewed commitment to our vital mission.

Along with the rest of the world, our community has faced unprecedented challenges in recent years, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, that will leave a lasting impact far into the future. In addition, while we have worked to advance racial equity, social justice and diversity in our community, there is always more work to do. Other challenges and opportunities also continue to emerge: Long-range demographic trends that shape our student enrollment and faculty ranks; societal, cultural and economic movements that drive fundamental change in the ways we work and relate to one another; rapid advances in science and technology that are simultaneously disruptive and creative, and much more.

Despite any challenges we face, the UD community has demonstrated tremendous resilience and strength, navigating the shifting landscape to continue fulfilling our fundamental missions of education, research and service. This strategic plan — built with the thoughtful input of our faculty, staff, students, alumni and Trustees — accelerates the University's momentum, charting an exciting course for the future. I am sincerely grateful for the dedication and diligence of everyone involved in helping to create this critical plan for our institution, and I look forward to working with the entire UD community to make this vision a reality.

It is because of this strong institutional foundation of talent, vision, collaboration and commitment that we are inspired to boldly advance the University of Delaware — forward and forever — together.

Dennis Assanis

Advancing our mission:

The University of Delaware’s Strategic Plan is truly a living document, continually evolving to seize new opportunities for growth, advancement and impact on the world. 



The University of Delaware inspires students in their pursuit of knowledge and guides them in their development of the skills necessary for success, both personally and professionally.

The 169th University of Delaware Spring Commencement ceremony held in Delaware Stadium on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Including commencement speaker Steve Mosko, leading media executive and former chairman of Sony Pictures Television and a UD alumnus, honorary degrees were also awarded to Howard. E Cosgrove, James Jones, and Valerie Biden Owens. - (Evan Krape / University of Delaware)

Our Vision

  • We will draw students from a large and diverse enrollment pipeline, encompassing high schools and non-traditional pathways, that prepares prospective students for success at UD.
  • We will ensure that a UD education remains accessible and affordable for students and their families.
  • We will provide a rigorous, innovative and interdisciplinary academic core that meets the needs of all students and inspires their lifelong success in a dynamic and global workplace and society.
  • We will offer robust co-curricular and support systems that are readily accessible and deeply integrated into the growth experience of every student.
  • We will lead our graduates to meaningful and fulfilling careers that help them develop core competencies that increase their resilience and prepare them to succeed in an ever-changing environment.



The University of Delaware remains deeply committed to building a campus community that reflects the rich and complex diversity of the human experience and that nourishes a culture that promotes and celebrates excellence for every individual.

International and domestic students gathering at a summer ice cream social in front of Old College

Our Vision

  • We will advance social justice principles of diversity, greater access, equity and participation for all members of the University community. 
  • We will be actively anti-racist and promote equity among all individuals, including those members of historically protected classes, and our ideas, actions and policies will reflect our opposition to all forms of discrimination. 
  • We will provide strong intercultural programs and initiatives, as well as physical spaces, that encourage and enable all members of the University community to connect, learn, grow and collaborate. 
  • We will demonstrate “equity in action” through community engagement and our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion as a core value, and further strengthen our identity and contributions as an engaged research university. 



The University of Delaware dedicates its resources and expertise in an integrated manner to address the challenges of the state of Delaware and the world. We remain committed to creating even more opportunities to cultivate global citizens who value peace, cooperation and human rights, in alignment with our values for inclusiveness.


Our Vision

  • We will engage in teaching and research that transcend disciplinary boundaries and employ radically different approaches to yield deeper insights and innovative solutions to the world’s most challenging problems. 
  • We will instill in our students the essential skills of interdisciplinary communication, critical problem-solving, leadership and teamwork in order to foster creativity, inventiveness and imagination. 
  • We will innovate in global education and develop in all students the knowledge, skills and mindset they need to be globally engaged citizens. 
  • We will be deeply engaged with the international community through collaboration and partnership, resulting in global recognition for our academic and research excellence. 



At the University of Delaware, our students, faculty and staff find creative and innovative solutions to difficult challenges and apply entrepreneurial thought and approaches in everything they do.

Students in Stefanie Hansen's THEA367: Seminar class "Cosplay Design and Fabrication" make full use of UD's MakerGym. 

From the UD Course Catalog: "Familiarizes students with the materials and techniques commonly used to create props and wearables for cosplay applications"

Our Vision

  • We will cultivate an immersive and experiential academic culture that stimulates creative expression at the boundaries of expertise, encourages novel approaches to complex challenges, and values an entrepreneurial mindset in all areas. 
  • We will focus this innovative mindset on our own actions by developing and deploying the best pedagogical approaches and pushing what is possible in multiple teaching and performance modalities for the benefit of our students. 
  • We will support collaboration and deep engagement within the University and with external partners. 
  • We will apply our knowledge, discoveries and resources to help build a robust, resilient, creative and sustainable economy for Delaware and the region. 



In pursuit of the University of Delaware’s vision, we value excellent people who, in turn, deserve excellent facilities and resources to do their best work.

  Research - Kelvin Lee - NIIMBL - Labs - 6.30.20

Our Vision

  • We will attract, retain and develop excellent faculty and staff to enable the University to fulfill its mission, both now and for future generations. 
  • We will enhance the University’s physical and technological infrastructure to ensure our people continue to do their best work efficiently and effectively in a healthy environment. 
  • We will blend the physical and virtual worlds, while developing the campus and facilities of the future. 
  • We will practice and enhance the principles of sustainability across operations, academics, student life, research and community engagement. 
  • We will enable a culture of operational excellence throughout the University. 

Our Path Ahead


The "Forward and Forever" strategic plan is the result of a yearlong journey of reflection, dialogue and creation by a broad representation of the University of Delaware community.


As the University continues to grow and evolve, so too will this plan.