Academic Plan

USD Academic Plan Information: Overview and Committees


In the Fall of 2020 the Provost’s Office continued its academic planning initiative to set broadly defined priorities in teaching, learning and scholarship. The priorities set forth will align with the six intersecting pathways and the goals in Envisioning 2024. They will leverage our distinctive strengths as a Liberal Arts university, where innovative changemakers address humanity’s urgent challenges. It is our expectation to develop a plan that is future-forward, simultaneously considering the multiple factors that have made us a university of international renown and the context around us. The priorities that we set forth for academic life at the university must consider how we plan to respond to the ongoing challenges in higher education, at the same time that we pay careful attention to the myriad possibilities open to us from technological advances to new learning models.

The expected outcome of the planning process is the first USD Academic Plan, which we envision as a dynamic document to be enriched in ongoing interactions with the larger university community. The Plan will offer clear priorities and goals for the positive advancement of the university, while striving to be a living document that has room for review and modifications as we proceed, progress, and consider the changes around us.

In 2020-21 the planning process led us to organize a “Team of Teams” that includes faculty from the various Schools and the College. There are five teams composed of seven to eight faculty:

1) Student Experience

2) Teaching, learning and Innovation

3) Enrollment, Programs and Schools

4) Research and Intellectual Outputs

5) Academic Reputations

The faculty has been tasked with engaging in discussions about the future we want to build and proposing an initial set of ideas for future academic directions that are important, exciting and impactful. We have provided access to extensive data about the university and current trends in higher education, which together with their own experiences at the institution, will support their dialogue, ideation and proposals.  

In order to gain as many perspectives as possible, the process also involves meetings with members of the other teams and others at the university. This year the Provost’s Office planned two Summits where the Provost and the Deans come together with the “Team of Teams.” The first Summit took place in November 2020, allowing teams to present initial ideas on goals and questions to be discussed. The second Summit will take place in February 2021. The Provost’s Office will then continue to work with the Deans and the Team of Teams to complete a draft of priorities and goals to be  shared with the larger USD community later in the Spring. 

We see this academic planning process and the USD Academic Plan as granting us a unique opportunity to take a pause amidst crisis to think creatively about what decisions need to be made now and in the next few years to make USD an academic institution that sets the standard as a Contemporary Catholic University.


Academic Planning 2020: Team of Teams Committees

  • Student Experience
  • Enrollment, Programs and Schools
  • Teaching, Learning and Innovation
  • Research and Intellectual Outputs
  • University Academic Reputation