Graduate College Strategic Plan

Organized in an easy-to-use and informative manner, the Strategic Plan for the University of Delaware Graduate College establishes key priorities and goals that will help guide the Graduate College’s mission over the next five years (academic year 2021 through academic year 2026).



Dear Students, Colleagues and Alumni,

Since its creation two years ago, the Graduate College has engaged the entire UD community and has been greeted with tremendous support in our mission to advance graduate education and research and improve postdoctoral preparation. To most efficiently take advantage of the opportunities that lie before us as a University community, the Graduate College needs a strategic plan, a plan that will capture the aspirations of our students and the expectations of our faculty and administration. It will help us channel our finite resources in ways that will have the greatest possible impact and move the University in the directions we want it to go.

The strategic planning process began in fall 2020 with a clear articulation of our mission and vision developed in consultation with the Graduate College Council. The five goals articulated in that vision plus operational excellence form the basis for our strategic plan. The plan itself emerged from efforts of five working groups of faculty and students, led by Graduate College team members. These reports were distilled into a draft that was circulated to faculty and students for feedback in late spring 2021. The Graduate College team used that feedback over the summer of 2021 to prioritize the various objectives and action items so that the plan would reflect a consensus of the UD community's priorities. The Graduate College team believes that this plan will substantially improve graduate education on campus and elevate the stature of our graduate programs nationally and internationally.

This plan is for both the Graduate College and the University of Delaware community.  Within the Graduate College, we are committed to achieving our mission in the special ways articulated in the plan, and we will measure our progress with multiple metrics knowing that no single metric should ever become a focus, especially for an operation as complex as the Graduate College. Like any good strategic plan, we have been mindful to propose something that is both ambitious and achievable. We're going to take risks. We do not expect everything we try to work, but we are confident that these endeavors will create the capacity within our community to achieve the excellence that we aspire to. We cannot do everything, and the Graduate College will use the plan to maintain our focus.

Outside the Graduate College, we are happy to share our plan in full transparency. We invite other units on campus to join with us to advance graduate and postdoctoral preparation. For those interested in partnerships, the plan articulates specifically where the Graduate College wants to go and the major activities that we are leading or will lead to move us in those directions.

Finally, the Graduate College team accepts that things can change in the course of five years. Knowing that we may have to adapt to changing circumstances, we will treat this as a living document and are prepared to make minor revisions to maintain its utility and relevance.

With best regards,

Louis F. Rossi
Dean of the Graduate College
Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education
Professor of Mathematical Sciences    


Focused on six primary categories of graduate education operations—Operational Excellence, Graduate Community, Innovation in Graduate Education, Professional Development, Recruitment and Retention, and Graduate and Postdoctoral Research, Scholarship and Creative Expression—the strategic plan includes objectives and action items for each category and lists metrics to aid in assessing the Graduate College’s progress in meeting its objectives.

While the strategic plan reflects the intentions of the Graduate College and other University stakeholders, it will be revisited semiannually to reassess priorities, assess progress and incorporate revisions.

Operational Excellence

Graduate Students standing on the Green for a rally raising awareness for how a tax reform would impact graduate students.

The Graduate College will assess and continually improve programs and policies designed to achieve our objectives.

Graduate Community

2 Graduate students smiling and having a conversation at a networking event.

The Graduate College will enhance graduate experiences by building a welcoming, respectful, strong, diverse and resilient graduate community.

Innovation in Grad Education

Virtual Reality lab used for Neuroscience research.

The Graduate College will enhance graduate experiences by fostering innovation in graduate education, especially in creating and supporting interdisciplinary programs, delivering online courses and programs and extending educational opportunities to nontraditional learners.

Professional Development

Graduate Student presenting their research in a poster session.

The Graduate College will enhance graduate experiences by providing opportunities for professional development.

Recruitment and Retention

Young student in a lab examining a solution.

The Graduate College will enhance graduate experiences by recruiting and retaining the best and brightest students.

Research, Scholarship and Creative Expression

Art conservation students in a workshop.

The Graduate College will enhance graduate experiences by supporting, developing and enhancing opportunities for graduate and postdoctoral research, scholarship and creative expression.