The Richmond Promise

A Strategic Plan for the University of Richmond, 2009–2014

The ambitious plan laid out here is called The Richmond Promise. It stands on five interlocking commitments, each of which reinforces the others. As the plan comes to fruition the University of Richmond promises:

  • A learning environment unlike any other in higher education, offering students an extraordinary combination of traditional strengths in the liberal arts with law, business, leadership studies, and continuing education.
  • A distinctly integrated student experience, coordinating a rich and innovative life for students inside and outside of the classroom, with excellent programs as varied as international study, arts, and athletics.
  • A defining spirit of opportunity and welcome to excellent students, faculty, and staff of all means and backgrounds, sustained through a bold program of financial aid, a dedication to fairness in all that we do, and an authentic culture of inclusivity that seeks and prizes diversity of experience, belief, and thought.
  • A determination to engage as a meaningful part of the Richmond community, of the nation, and of the world, drawing on our long commitment and well-established foundations for such work.
  • A commitment to operate as a model institution of higher education, sustaining a superb faculty and staff and administering the institution with the highest standards of innovation and professionalism.

As the detailed goals and measures that follow reveal, The Richmond Promise is challenging. Success will demand focus, discipline, and effort in every aspect of our work together. It will require support and dedication from many people. 

The Richmond Promise acknowledges the University’s heritage of fostering religious freedom and marks the next step on our path of creating openness and opportunity. It rededicates all of us to the University's Statement of Mission, which declares that “a Richmond education prepares students to live lives of purpose, thoughtful inquiry, and responsible leadership in a global and pluralistic society.” Such a mission defines us as a private university dedicated to the public good, and we embrace that definition.

Now it is our turn, standing at the beginning of a new century filled with challenge and hope, to fulfill the University’s mission. The Richmond Promise is our pledge that we will do our best.

Developing Shared Goals

The principles, goals, and action steps in this plan are the product of many conversations, stretching for more than a year, with students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends of the University. Working groups comprised of more than seventy-five colleagues developed specific goals and action steps, while more than twenty open forums and this website offered opportunity for a broad range of commentary. The principles that we—the University community—have outlined below establish how we intend to pursue the University’s mission for the next five years. The goals provide direction, and the action steps will be regularly reviewed to ensure that they are the most effective means of achieving our goals.