University Strategic Plan
TU 2020-2030 Strategic Plan: Leadership for the Public Good
With more than 150 years of leadership advancing higher education, Towson University has established a rich history of academic success and a proven dedication to improving lives. Building upon this established excellence, TU strategically looks to the future with both purpose and passion.
TU’s academic excellence and innovative research and creative activities happen within a community where all students achieve inclusively. The diversity of our student body is a strength that not only enriches the learning environment with varied backgrounds, it also prepares our students to better lead in a global environment. TU's ongoing success is dependent on our capacity to shift perspectives and approaches and strategically place diversity, equity and inclusion at the core of our mission. We offer a transformative student experience that creates a foundation for social and economic mobility grounded in a profound respect for civic responsibility.
Towson University is an anchor institution for Greater Baltimore and Maryland, committed to making a difference and transforming lives throughout our region. Through our signature programs in BTU—Partnerships at Work for Greater Baltimore—we demonstrate our commitment to community engaged partnerships that have an immediate, positive impact on Greater Baltimore. We foster an environment that embraces leadership and entrepreneurship for our students, our region, and our state.
As part of the university’s relentless commitment to advancing the public good, this plan serves to define objectives and deliver transformative outcomes. Through the power of learning, discovery and creativity we create opportunities, ensuring a future where everyone plays a role in shaping a positive future. Being ambitious on behalf of others isn’t just a promise at TU—we deliver on it every day. And this plan is where that ambition becomes action.
Towson University fosters intellectual inquiry and critical thinking preparing graduates who will serve as effective, ethical leaders and engaged citizens. Through a foundation in the liberal arts, an emphasis on rigorous academic standards, and the creation of small learning environments, we are committed to providing a collaborative, interdisciplinary and inter-professional atmosphere, excellence in teaching, leadership development, civic engagement, and applied and sponsored research opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our graduates leave Towson University with the vision, creativity and adaptability to craft solutions that enrich the culture, society, economy, and environment of Maryland, the region, and beyond.
Towson University is a national leader in student-centered education, where students will develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to become ethical leaders in a global society. Our faculty model the highest values of the scholar-educator, with a steadfast devotion to intellectual rigor and the pursuit of innovative scholarly and creative activities. We embrace our role and responsibilities as an anchor institution for the Greater Baltimore region and the state of Maryland.
Towson University’s Core Values:
At Towson University, everything we do reflects our core values:
- Dedication to student intellectual and personal growth
- Commitment to creating and disseminating knowledge of the highest caliber
- Passion for continuous learning
- Devotion to civic responsibility and community service
- Commitment to diversity and inclusion
- Integrity and ethical action as leaders for the public good
Towson University is already recognized as one of America’s Top 100 public national universities; this strategic plan is a call to action for an even bolder future. It is a focused strategy to build upon TU’s already impressive momentum, further its impact as an anchor institution, and advance its pre-eminent position as a national leader in higher education for the public good.
Our Expectation: Excellence (in everything we do)
Towson University has built a reputation as a leader in inclusive, accessible academic excellence where students, faculty and staff thrive. Here, rigorous and relevant academic instruction is combined with a diverse and supportive community that deepens connections and builds success.
- We challenge students to be engaged participants in an inspiring educational journey preparing them for professional success and positive impact as engaged members of their community.
- We empower faculty to make significant contributions through scholarly and creative inquiry of the highest caliber.
- We encourage and promote excellence in staff resulting in exceptional contributions and personal growth.
- We serve communities as an anchor institution, with socially-minded partnerships and entrepreneurial efforts advancing the greater Baltimore region and Maryland.
Through the initiatives outlined in this strategic action plan, we’ll harness our expertise from decades of transformation at Towson University to accelerate into a new era of leadership for the public good.
Our Focus: Achieving goals
For Towson University to make a greater difference we must remain unapologetically persistent and clearly focused on our goals above all else. Our plan focuses on six major goals, defined with input from across our university and greater communities. These goals must serve as guiding intentions at the center of every decision we make and every action we take.
EducateWe will achieve national recognition for our innovative student-centered curriculum emphasizing engaged learning, in-demand academic programs, and new approaches to instruction and learning in the liberal arts, business, health professions, STEM, arts and teacher preparation.
InnovateOur faculty are leaders in scholarship and creative activities and will be fully supported in their efforts to generate new knowledge and new creative works.
EngageWe will serve as community leaders and partners extending the talents of our students, faculty and staff beyond our campus boundaries to create opportunities for leadership, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and experiential learning.
IncludeWe will build an even more inclusive, equitable, and collaborative community where people from all backgrounds, identities, abilities and life experiences are welcomed, valued and supported.
SupportWe will recruit, retain and graduate students of the highest caliber, offer outstanding student success services, and provide an engaging campus experience that reflects the educational values of Towson University and produces graduates prepared for careers or advanced education.
SustainWe will act as leaders in advancing sustainability of all resources—environmental, human, and financial.
GOAL ONE: Educate
Of course, education is at the center of everything we do. But it’s how we educate that really matters. Towson University is committed to academic excellence, providing exceptional, student-centered educational experiences. TU’s distinguished faculty mentors push the possibilities of engaged learning, create in-demand academic programs and initiate cutting-edge instruction in each of our colleges and interdisciplinary programs. Our graduates will be prepared to lead their communities with integrity, civic-mindedness, and creativity in service of the public good.
- Institute and fully support a comprehensive enrollment strategy that achieves the goals of the university with regard to degree programs, diversity, and fiscal outcomes.
- Recruit, retain and support outstanding faculty committed to teaching excellence.
- Provide an interdisciplinary core curriculum grounded in the liberal arts that reflects our educational outcomes and prepares students for the contemporary workforce and global society.
- Increase high-impact teaching and learning opportunities to ensure every TU student engages in multiple experiences during their academic career.
- Capitalize on new facilities in STEM and health professions to develop new, high-demand academic programs that support state and national workforce needs.
- Develop selective new masters and doctoral programs in accordance to regional demand and institutional mission.
- Offer an array of professional certificate programs and credentialing alternatives to position our graduates competitively in the workforce.
- Support our world-class faculty through the Faculty Academic Center of Excellence at Towson University (FACET).
GOAL TWO: INNOVATE
As higher education leaders, the world looks to us for innovation. TU supports and promotes an active scholarly and creative activity agenda for faculty, staff and students. This includes providing appropriate resources, suitable facilities and work schedules to facilitate these critical and worthwhile efforts.
- Faculty will continue to serve as leaders demonstrating the highest standards of a scholar/teacher model that balances teaching, research and service.
- Utilize emerging and innovative technology to enhance teaching and learning.
- Substantially increase grant activities and scholarly output, utilizing the full spectrum of student, staff, and faculty expertise.
- Build requisite facilities and resources, including those of Cook Library, to support and increase faculty scholarly and creative activity.
- Increase our commitment to undergraduate and graduate student research, including a vibrant summer research program with faculty mentors.
- Reward and recognize faculty national leaders in scholarship, creative activity and teaching.
GOAL THREE: ENGAGE
Our impact goes beyond the boundaries of our campus. As a Carnegie Foundation Community Engaged University, TU students, faculty and staff serve as community leaders and partners extending their talents beyond our campus boundaries to create opportunities for leadership, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and experiential learning.
- Build on the existing success of the BTU initiative to further TU’s leadership as an anchor institution for the greater Baltimore region.
- Develop and sustain a successful StarTUp business engagement center.
- Develop and sustain innovative entrepreneurship programs for internal and external parties that increase student participation from all colleges.
- Build a successful venture creation program that engages students, faculty, staff and external participants.
- Develop nationally recognized leadership programs for internal and external markets that create and reflect cutting-edge research.
- Ensure all TU students have the opportunity to participate in experiential learning during their academic careers.
- Promote civic responsibility and engagement as a learning outcome for all students.
- Fully develop a world-class Career Center supporting students and alumni.
GOAL FOUR: INCLUDE
TU actively works to build an inclusive, collaborative, and equitable community where people from all backgrounds, identities, abilities and life experiences are welcomed, valued and supported to achieve their fullest potential. This commitment is reflected in our hiring practices, decision-making, academic and co-curricular programming, support services and resources. We will achieve the goals of the university’s Diversity Strategic Plan and will be leaders in equity and inclusion.
- Provide ongoing teaching, learning, research and service opportunities to prepare students, faculty and staff to address diversity, inclusion and equity issues in disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields.
- Continue our commitment to recruiting and retaining faculty from underrepresented groups.
- Continue to build trust and confidence through strong collaborative and value-added relationships with all shared governance bodies.
- Increase diversity-rich learning experiences that raise all students’ self-awareness and ethical and cultural intelligences while advancing their understanding and commitment to TU’s values of inclusion, diversity and equity.
- Provide resources for faculty to learn, use and evaluate inclusive teaching and learning practices, scholarly research and creative activities.
- Build upon existing mentorship programs for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.
GOAL FIVE: SUPPORT
Student success starts with a student-centered culture. TU is committed to recruiting, retaining and graduating students of the highest caliber, offering effective support services and an engaging campus experience that reflects the values of Towson University.
- Implement a comprehensive student retention plan from prospect status through graduation and into the post-graduate years.
- Increase the four-year graduation rate through a systemic approach.
- Capitalize on the new Student Union to deliver rich co-curricular programming for students.
- Establish a One-Stop Academic Support Center.
- Support an exceptional athletics program that emphasizes success in the classroom, in the community, and in athletic competition.
- Establish a world-class holistic practice of student well-being that addresses physical, mental, and emotional dimensions of individuals.
- Serve as a cultural center for the TU and greater Baltimore communities, offering outstanding arts and culture programming for the region.
- Increase affordability of study abroad and other experiential learning opportunities and raise the number and diversity of student participants.
- Identify opportunities to reduce costs to students while maintaining high academic and co-curricular standards.
GOAL SIX: SUSTAIN
TU is committed to sustainable practices, responsible management and efficient use of all resources. Whether it’s environmental, financial or human—we act as conscientious stewards of all resources.
2030 Sustain Actions:
- Promote a transparent capital and operating budget process that engages shared governance to invest financial resources in support of the university’s strategic goals.
- Promote and implement effective internal controls and enterprise risk management practices to provide reasonable assurance for the safeguarding of assets, the reliability of financial information, and compliance with laws and regulations.
- Implement a holistic Campus Sustainability Plan inclusive of environmental, health, and academic activities.
- Recruit, reward and retain outstanding faculty and staff through the implementation of a total rewards program.
- Offer engaging professional development opportunities, including mentoring and coaching programs that span career trajectories.
- Build and maintain a sustainable campus through economically viable initiatives that are environmentally and socially responsible.
- Increase philanthropic giving from all constituent groups—alumni, friends, parents, faculty, staff and students—to support ongoing and emerging needs and opportunities at TU.
- Strengthen alumni engagement and giving in support of the university community and its strategic goals.