Action Steps to a Successful Strategic Plan

Group of faculty members laughing and clapping enthusiastically.
“Whatever is happening inside the classroom or outside the classroom, it is working,” Provost Kopp told faculty.

October 05, 2023
Spirit Magazine

Gonzaga’s updated Strategic Plan provides a roadmap to enhancing the educational experience and students’ future success. This includes support for new programs while deepening research opportunities and ways to provide ethics-informed professional education that cultivates attention to the common good, creative innovation and leadership.

The updated plan, building from the last Strategic Plan completed in 2015, articulates key institutional aspirations, concrete actions and measurable metrics for accountability, reviewed annually by the Board of Trustees.

Taken as a whole, the new strategic plan seeks to enrich and expand Gonzaga’s academic reputation for excellence, remain grounded in its Catholic, Jesuit, humanistic tradition, and develop a financially sustainable future for its programs.

Following is a brief recap of the plan’s action steps:

  • Building on existing academic degrees in nursing and human physiology, the newly named School of Health Sciences will explore other crucial areas of applied health education and research, including such possibilities as public health, partnering with local health providers and the UW School of Medicine.
  • As technology continues to shape our quality of life and ability to connect more fully with the world, GU has established the Institute for Informatics and Applied Technology to help educate and inspire innovation in areas like advanced manufacturing, health care, big data, supply chain management and information security, partnering with local industries and government agencies.
  • The Gonzaga Humanities Institute will promote collaboration with local, national and global partners to cultivate a sense of place and belonging; amplify community voices, histories and experiences; inform contemporary debates; and engage with others to name and rectify injustices.
  • The Center for Ignatian Dialogue and Discernment will initiate and model civil public dialogue on the pressing topics of our time, from politics and social issues to theological and philosophical questions. It will also foster dialogues among academic communities, practitioners and community members and leaders.
  • The Office of Inclusive Excellence will enhance the University’s efforts to create a more unified community of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and justice and annually share reports of relevant progress and success with this community.
  • Through a foundation with current faculty, we will create a new Institute for Climate, Water and the Environment, recruiting faculty leaders, climate scientists, legal scholars and economists to lead conversations about water management, ecological restoration, responsible development, social justice and public policy.
  • The University sees itself as deeply intertwined with the Society of Jesus, Native American tribes, the City of Spokane and the Inland Northwest, and will continue to deepen its relationships here and around the globe.
  • Building on our Catholic, Jesuit, humanistic foundation, the new strategic plan calls for enhancing connected learning in and out of the classroom to holistically develop leaders of purpose who will serve society. The plan fosters service in action in all academic programs to include community work, experiential, outdoor and global learning. The plan includes strengthening our commitment to Opportunity Northeast, serving the areas around our campus with housing, family care, legal advocacy and workforce training. GU will explore a partnership with Catholic Charities to create a new child development center. To enhance every undergraduate student’s development, Gonzaga will create living-learning communities for every freshman and sophomore living on campus. An ambitious expansion of residence halls will include the creation of spaces for students to form relationships, learn from one another and be in community with supportive faculty and staff.
  • The Foley Center will be reimagined as an academic commons where students, faculty and staff can collaborate, mentor and dialogue, leveraging technology to enhance the learning environment.
  • The strategic plan will focus on four key areas to enhance enrollment at Gonzaga. Enhanced marketing, recruitment and admissions will include expanding partnerships and enhanced data analytics to support growth and diversity. Financial aid and pricing strategies will be developed to yield the desired incoming class. Student success infrastructure will be strengthened to retain at-risk populations. And academic programs will be reviewed and developed to meet prospective student demands, including online programs where appropriate.
  • The plan outlines steps to help differentiate Gonzaga as a nationally recognized academic institution with a global footprint in intercollegiate athletics. The University will strive to attract high-caliber student- athletes, and students for whom athletic competition is a value. A strong program in all sports contributes significantly to that aim.

For more information and updates on the strategic plan, visit