USD's Strategic Directions planning process was a hallmark of Dr. Mary E. Lyons' presidency. She strongly believed in the importance of establishing broad, far-reaching strategic directions to sustain a variety of planning initiatives rather than defining narrowly focused goals that may lose their relevance as circumstances change.
President Lyons launched the first cycle of this multi-year planning process in October of 2003. The Steering Committee used input from campus and community constituents to refresh the mission statement, restate the core values, craft a vision statement, and draft five broad-based strategic directions. During the next five years, several committees and task forces worked to implement a number of institutionally-defined strategic initiatives.
By the fall of 2010, those initiatives were incorporated into the structure of USD and the university was ready for new challenges. Dr. Lyons launched a second cycle of planning to establish new directions and initiatives that would build upon the mission, values, and vision statements already in place. Six new strategic directions were approved by the Board of Trustees in May of 2011.