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Sunday, December 10, 2023

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New Strategic Plan is a Shared Vision

SDSU has launched a five-year framework for change that draws upon the aspirations of the entire campus community.
By Jeff Ristine

San Diego State University took its first steps to realize a new vision and mission for the next five years, launching its strategic plan, “We Rise We Defy: Transcending Borders, Transforming Lives.”

Remarks during a 33-minute online program on Wednesday, Sept. 18, urged the SDSU community to work together to help students, researchers and educators across the world to achieve the plan’s five priorities and 54 specific activities, all with key deadlines. The goals encompass SDSU, SDSU Imperial Valley, SDSU Georgia, SDSU Mission Valley, SDSU Global Campus and microsite offerings at the region’s community colleges.

“The world is demanding that we change,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. “The future of higher education will be different from what we have ever seen.”

The strategic plan embodies a nearly year-long process to set out SDSU’s long term future. De la Torre promised its title will be more than a mantra.

“When we face opposition, we rise. When we are presented with the seemingly impossible, we defy,” she said. “We push the boundaries of technology through research. We create economic opportunity for every region in which we are physically located. And we are expanding educational access for students around the world.”

Additionally, de la Torre said, the plan positions SDSU to reduce equity gaps among students, faculty and staff, and will lead to new graduate-level programs, opportunities for adult learners and pathways for traditional students.

“It is meant to position us for a better future,” she said, “no matter what is headed our way.”

This includes new challenges of fiscal resilience and sustainability incorporated into the five priorities. Agnes Wong Nickerson, interim vice president for business and financial affairs and chief financial officer, said each priority looks toward diversifying funding streams and revenue generation for the university aimed at sustaining value and financial health.

Any member of the SDSU community, including alumni and general community members, can offer their support for the plan here.

Critical insights

Nearly 4,000 people participated in the preparation of the strategic plan and its 54 defined activities.

J. Luke Wood, vice president for student affairs and campus diversity, said these participants “provided critical insights, creative ideas and needed personal perspectives to help define what is now our five-year framework.”

Wood added: “We will develop new programs, introduce new academic programs, elevate our research and, always at the core of what we do, enhance the student experience so that everyone of our students can be successful. No matter who they are. No matter where they are from. No matter where they want to go.”

The plan also affirms SDSU’s commitment “to becoming a global leader in advancing diversity. Equity and inclusion in research, teaching and community engagement,” said Emilio Ulloa, a psychology professor and associate dean of students and campus climate.

And Provost Salvador Hector Ochoa said the thousands of faculty, staff and student voices that contributed to the plan make it a collective, shared vision.

“My hope is that every single one of you will find some motivation in one or more of our five priorities and realize the contributions you can and should make in bringing our strategic plan to fruition,” Ochoa said.

The five strategic priorities of the plan are:

Becoming a Premier Public Research University: A New Kind of HSI

SDSU will forge a path to become an R1 Doctoral University where excellence and access converge. To achieve this long-term institutional goal, SDSU will leverage its unique stature as a community-engaged, border-connected, Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) located on Kumeyaay land.

Resilience. Designed to Thrive

SDSU is committed to building a resilient and sustainable university through innovative practices.


SDSU will expand its global impact, unifying the university through a common mission and identity. Under a single name, the multi-campus university includes the San Diego campus, SDSU Imperial Valley, SDSU Global Campus, a future SDSU Mission Valley location, regional microsites, and other programs around the globe and online.

Equity and Inclusion in Everything We Do

SDSU will be a global leader in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in research, teaching and in community engagement

Students at Our Core

SDSU commits to a future where all students are able to achieve their greatest potential.