University of Rochester President Sarah Mangelsdorf

Boundless Possibility represents who we are. Who we are will allow us to discover new, modern, and distinctive ways to tackle complex challenges, and it reflects our desire to create the conditions that enable the people of the University of Rochester to frame and solve the greatest challenges of the future, without limitations.”

— President Sarah C. Mangelsdorf

The plan’s guiding framework

The following elements are foundational to our strategic plan and were validated through the planning process, which included significant input from student, faculty, staff, and alumni leaders; members of the Board of Trustees; and community partners.


Meliora (ever better)
Adopted in 1851, Meliora is more than a motto. It is the singular—and unifying—essence of the University of Rochester, which is deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of our community.


Learn, Discover, Heal, Create—and Make the World Ever Better
The aspirational embodiment of the motto, our mission defines what we do and why we do it.


The University of Rochester will continue to frame and solve the greatest challenges of the future.
We are a community with an entrepreneurial spirit where all can pursue and achieve their highest objectives for themselves, their community, and the world.


Equity | Leadership | Integrity | Openness | Respect | Accountability
We hold ourselves accountable to these values in the design of our programs, the development and delivery of our services, the evaluation of performance, and the ways in which we interact as a community.

One University

To meet our goals and realize the spirit of Boundless Possibility, we must approach our work as “One University.” This is more than working together. This is:

  • a collaborative philosophy, where we leverage talent and expertise across the institution to solve problems, capitalize on opportunities, and support one another;
  • an expectation to consider the broader University context as we explore opportunities and solutions that benefit the broader University community and various stakeholders; and
  • a commitment to operational effectiveness and efficiency by investing in resources, processes, and systems that create conditions for our students, faculty, and staff to succeed.

One University is about being unified and aligned at a foundational level and believing that every member of our community plays a role that is critical to our success

Core beliefs

Three essential beliefs, shared throughout our community, are at the heart of our strategic plan as we look forward and collectively consider what it means to be a global research university of the future. The five goals identified in this plan contribute to furthering these central ideas.

Strengthening our reputation as a global research university

Position ourselves to attract the best students, faculty, staff, researchers, partners, and funding and distinguish ourselves as leaders among our competitive peers.

Contributing to and benefiting from a just and vibrant city of Rochester and the Rochester Region

Our future is inextricably linked to the city we call home, and we are committed to continued economic, educational, social, and cultural partnerships with the greater Rochester community.

Furthering our commitment to actionable and accountable growth in diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and justice

This commitment is vital to cultivating a rich, diverse, and welcoming culture where everyone can achieve their full potential and contribute to the University of Rochester’s mission and vision.

Strategic plan goals

Bold and transformational goals will guide the University of Rochester towards framing and solving the greatest challenges of the future.

Research excellence and global reputation

We are committed to building and reinvigorating our research ecosystem and leveraging our distinctive strengths in ways to increase our reputation as a leading global research institution by investing in innovation and growth in our areas of distinction.

Exceptional undergraduate and graduate education

We will reimagine undergraduate and graduate education at our research-intensive institution to continue enhancing and enriching the student experience so that we develop leaders, citizens of the world, and learners who embody our Meliora values.

Health care of the highest order

We will continue to expand and transform health care delivery, promote an inclusive culture, and build programs of excellence that span research, education, and clinical care to reinforce and enhance our position as a leading national academic medical center.

Faculty and staff success

We are committed to building a community of individuals who represent a wide range of identities and backgrounds and to ensuring that all who work here feel valued and respected to cultivate an inclusive culture that prioritizes the well-being, development, engagement, success, and diversity of our community.

Sustainable growth

We will modernize and optimize the way we budget and allocate resources to realize our University-wide aspirations, implementing a new finance and operational model that will enable future and sustainable growth and success.

Strategic plan inputs

The University’s strategic plan is shaped by information and direction from several sources. From the original pathways and focus groups to our accreditation process and insights from the Board of Trustees, the planning process continues to be inclusive, collaborative, and broadly co-constructed.

President vision and priorities

Ideas and concepts that President Mangelsdorf has identified for the future of the University of Rochester.

Data and benchmarking

Academic analytics, consultant insights, and trends and benchmarking.

Board of Trustees

Board working sessions and trustee interviews to gather insights from board members; ongoing insights into planning.

School and unit plans

Spring 2022 school and unit strategic plans and reports connecting plans and goals for the future.


Middle States Accreditation process kicking off that will allow us to examine various aspects of our organization.

Work and focus groups

Focus groups and ideation sessions in 2020 and 2021, led by university leaders to gather insights and ideas, including town halls, Project Imagine, and thematic work groups.


Many voices have contributed to a comprehensive, inclusive, and bold strategic plan. Follow the timeline to learn more about how Boundless Possibility was developed and will continue to progress.

Evaluation of the first year of the strategic plan (tactics, metrics, progress, challenges).

Engagement of stakeholders on FY24 tactics.

Public launch of the strategic plan to the University of Rochester community. Continued strategic plan discussion forums to share plan details and answer questions.

Objective and tactic leaders initiate efforts to implement the plan.

Develop systems and structures for leaders and work groups to implement and manage plan; create communications and promotional materials.

Refine our objectives and tactics, and re-engage students, faculty, and staff on progress.

Identifying key, high-level themes impacting people from across the organization. Refinement of concepts and structure of the plan; identifying core beliefs and measures of success.

Opportunities to hear from students, faculty, and staff; identifying key themes we face as a community and organization.