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Accelerating Impact: USI’s Strategic Plan, 2021-2025

Dr. RochonWhen our effort to formulate the University of Southern Indiana’s third strategic plan was launched, I indicated the importance of fully engaging our campus community, learning from our first two strategic plans, recognizing current financial realities, and identifying and measuring performance indicators. I also stated that we must be a catalyst for change and a university on the front end of creating a talented, educated citizenry that meets the entrepreneurial and workforce needs of our society. I am pleased to report that these considerations are very evident in the resulting work: Accelerating Impact: USI’s Strategic Plan, 2021-2025.

Through a focused planning effort, more than 2,600 faculty, staff, students, alumni, retirees, partners and friends took part. They lent their voices, insights and passions to the process and shared creative ideas that have resulted in an exciting roadmap. The University’s Trustees have been engaged in this process from the outset, and their approval reflects their contribution to and support of this plan.

Accelerating Impact is a roadmap that will help the University advance toward its vision: to be a recognized leader in higher education boldly shaping the future and transforming the lives of our students through exceptional learning and intentional innovation. Designed to further the University’s excellence in education, learning and engagement over the next five years, we will be propelled by the following four goals intended to accelerate USI’s impact.

  • Improve Student Success
  • Foster Impactful Engagement
  • Elevate Visibility and Reputation
  • Strengthen Financial Viability

The objectives, strategies and action steps we implement will involve critical investments in the people, programs and partnerships that distinguish USI. They will provide opportunities to further the University’s reputation as an exemplar of innovation and enhance the ability of our University community to bring positive change to the world. I am proud of the plan our community has created, and looking forward to the results of our collective efforts.

Now, as we move toward implementation of Accelerating Impact, your expertise, commitment and immersive engagement are critical. There is no time to waste. We need you. It is essential for our collective success!

Ronald S. Rochon, PhD


USI will be a recognized leader in higher education boldly shaping the future and transforming the lives of our students through exceptional learning and intentional innovation.


USI is an engaged learning community committed to exceptional education. We exist to provide an educated citizenry that can engage in a civil manner within a community with divergent ideas and cultural differences. We prepare our students to lead and make positive contributions to our state, their communities, and to be lifetime learners in a diverse and global society.

Core Values


We act with a consistency of character and are accountable for our actions. It manifests in perseverance and grit, principles and kindness, and in our stewardship of resources.

Exceptional Education

Exceptional educational engagements combining disciplinary knowledge with cognitive (e.g. problem solving, adaptive learning), interpersonal (e.g. collaboration, leadership) and intrapersonal (e.g. persistence, initiative) competencies.

Transformative Learning

We pride ourselves, in partnership with our students, on successfully transforming lives. Our students use the education USI offers to evolve themselves, their careers and communities.

Inclusive and Diverse Community

We believe in the value of human diversity. We continue/strive to foster respect and care for one another and welcome everyone to be a part of our institution.

External Engagement

We are an intentionally collaborative place. Our purposeful partnerships make a powerful difference in the broader community.

Goals and Objectives

The University has established four goals. The goals are broad outcome statements that represent meaningful planning challenges and are consistent with accomplishing our mission. These goals will guide our strategic efforts. More than 2,600 people interested in the future of USI have contributed to this overall process. A comprehensive survey and analysis were conducted to develop measurable and verifiable outcomes connected to the goals. 

Provide relevant and innovative educational programs, an inclusive intellectual climate, transformative and lifetime learning experiences and outcomes.


1. Increase retention rates of first-time, full-time students seeking baccalaureate degrees

  • Increase first-year retention to 76% by 2025
  • Increase second-year retention to 65% by 2025
  • Increase third-year retention to 58% by 2025

2. Increase graduation rates of first-time, full-time students seeking baccalaureate degrees

  • Increase four-year graduation rate to 40% by 2025
  • Increase six-year graduation rate to 55% by 2025

3. Increase retention and graduation rates of at-risk and underrepresented students by 5% by 2025

4. Increase the number of transfer students and adult learners (students older than 25 years of age at the time of graduation) completing degrees 5% by 2025

5. All graduates will have successfully engaged in two or more high-impact experiences by 2025 (high-impact practices include internships, service-learning, field experiences, etc.) 

Collaborations focused on contributing to the positive transformation of individuals and communities.


1. Increase the number of partnerships with for-profit, non-profit and government organizations 20% by 2025

2. Increase the number of USI community members engaged in community-based or service-learning activities 15% by 2025

3. Increase the number of high-impact engagement activities 10% by 2025

4. Increase volunteer hours for employees and students 20% by 2025

5. Increase projects and research opportunities with external organizations 15% by 2025

Enhance awareness and reputation of University identity and academic distinctiveness.


1. In each College create or enhance a marquee academic program with a regional or national reputation by 2025 as measured by an annual 3% improvement in a relevant composite index

2. Increase public awareness of the University and its academic distinctiveness as measured by an annual 3% improvement in a composite brand awareness index

3. Become a leading public, comprehensive University by 2030 as measured by an annual 3% improvement in a relevant composite index

4. Increase students listing USI as their first choice 10% by 2025

Focus on diversified revenue and funding streams, resource growth and enhanced resource utilization.


1. Increase credit hour production to 236,000 by 2025, with an intermediate target of 225,000 by Fall 2022

2. Increase the number of adult learners 20% by 2025 with a minimum increase of 5% by Fall 2022

3. Increase fundraising by $350,000 annually through 2025 

4. Increase USI’s Composite Financial Index (which includes measures of revenue, expenses, assets and debt) by 0.25 points annually

5. Increase USI’s overall performance on Indiana’s 3-year averaged funding metrics (degree completion, at-risk completion, high impact completion, persistence, remediation and on-time graduation) by an average of 5% over each biennium, but updated and tracked annually