Welcome to the 2020-2025 university strategic plan site for Ashland University. This site chronicles the strategic planning process and provides updates for the ongoing development of our next strategic plan. We identified three strategic themes to rally around:

  • Transformational Experiences
  • Strategic Growth
  • Empowered Community

Our strategic plan represents the hearts, values and traditions that form the foundation of our university. Developed through a comprehensive, collaborative process, this strategic plan's title, "Rich History/Bold Future," builds on the collective excellence of our campus community.

Ashland must soar above the day-to-day challenges that face higher education to become the nationally recognized university that focuses on students as the heart of all we do. As the university known for "Accent on the Individual," our plan will meet the educational and personal goals of each student.

This plan is our roadmap. This document will guide, serving as a living document, a framework that will be revised as we build a great place to learn, work and grow. Ashland University will be a place where all students and personnel are valued and empowered to be transformed and transform their communities and the world.

We want to thank each of you, students, faculty, staff, alums and Board members, who have labored to make this strategic planning process and the resulting strategic plan truly one developed by the Ashland University family. We hope you are as excited about the plan, and the future it envisions, as we are. This plan articulates grand expectations – expectations we can not only meet but exceed.

Thank you for taking the time to read this plan and become a part of Ashland - Rich History/Bold Future.

Strategic Plan Name Poll Results

Read the plan

Download Rich History/Bold Future 2025 for a full overview of our goals and plans.

Rich History, Bold Future

Strategic Theme Teams

The strategic plan for 2020-2025 is titled Rich History/Bold Future - Ashland 2025.  Three themes support our strategic plan: Transformational Experiences, Strategic Growth and Empowered Community.

An open invitation was extended to the campus community to join one of the theme teams. Based on the responses, the three teams were formed to begin the challenging and exciting work to develop the primary objectives for each theme. The strategic plan has since been revised, reviewed and implemented. Below are the three themes of Ashland University's strategic plan, with their objectives and initiatives nested within.

Transformational Experiences
Service Opportunities

A Transformational Service Plan will be a cornerstone of a student's academic and co-curricular experience, integrated into majors as well as advising (the training is an implementation checklist item).

Life Calling

AU colleges will implement "life calling pathways" into all programs through curricular and co-curricular activities.

Fluid Transitions for Students

AU will institute a fluid practice for career center intervention with students making a change in their major that may require a program or college change. A shift for collaborative efforts among career center staff and AU faculty for students changing majors/colleges within AU for fluid transitions between programs/majors.

Individualized Success Plan

Students will create a fully personalized and customized educational success plan. This is our daily commitment to “Accent on the Individual.” From recruitment to employment, students will design a detailed four-year plan outlining academic requirements required to graduate in their chosen field of study in four years.

Personalized Mentorship

Students will have personalized mentorship throughout their educational journey in alignment with our commitment to “Accent on the Individual.” Our faculty and staff promise to guide students toward reaching their goals and to help them become the person they were meant to be.

Post-Graduation Employment Support

Ashland University guarantees students will have a job or acceptance into graduate school within one year of graduation. If a student is not employed or admitted to graduate school within one year of graduating, or if they ever need additional assistance on their career or educational journey, Ashland University will provide access to career and life calling services for life.

Military Concierge Service

Students will have dedicated concierge service that speaks to their needs as a military-connected students. We will evaluate experiences and help these students optimize potential credit hours in service to reach their goals for future education and employment.


AU will establish a physical and virtual one-stop-shop where employees are cross-trained to assist students with most academic advising, referrals, financial aid and billing questions.

High-Impact Practice

Departments will develop, incentivize and implement program-level initiatives that offer real-life experiences to prepare students to enter or advance in the workplace or in a graduate program. Examples of these initiatives could include:

  1. Internships or capstone-style experiences with structured formative  and summative debriefings
  2. Skill development in technical writing and spreadsheets
  3. Certification examinations
  4. Research capstone experiences

Students will be given the opportunity to have at least one relevant internship or applied learning experience during their four-year transformative experience. Ashland University promises that you will have the opportunity to learn to lead through one or more of these means: clubs and organizations, study abroad, mission trips, internships or applied learning opportunities.

Space Utilization and Planning

Create collaborative multi-functional spaces, physically and virtually.

Empowered Community
Diversity and Inclusion Plan

We promise a welcoming, open and diverse campus community, guided by our Christian heritage and a culture of dignity and respect.

Intercultural Experiences

Emphasize and promote experiences for students, faculty and staff that encourage an immersion in a variety of diverse and different cultures (foreign and domestic).

Individual Value & Recognition

"Accent on the Individual" through intentional and formalized recognition of students, faculty and staff. For specific achievements or a job well done.

Healthy, Safe & Supportive Campus

Connect campus constituencies through a culture of wellness and community-building initiatives.

Internal Communication Plan

Increase trust and employee engagement through improved communication.

Employee Success Efforts

Work flexibility to maximize individual employee effectiveness.

Incentivized Compensation & Development

Evaluate competitive compensation and appropriate professional development for all employees.

Data-Informed Decision Making

Continuous assessment/benchmarking along with broadly published dashboards provide for transparency to promote discussion and innovation opportunities around decision making.

Strategic Growth
New & Revised Programs to Launch

Program growth – Determine and prioritize new, revised and alignment of programs, non-academic programs, certificates, badges and micro-credentials with emphasis on modalities.

Program Enhancement

Identify and invest in current programs with growth potential, including enhancing existing programs.

Diverse Modalities and Audiences

Develop a four-year cross-platform enrollment plan. Determine resource requirements. Include targets and program anchors for key modalities (i.e., enrollment goals, budget, marketing partner, staffing).

Develop Tuition Models that Align With Affordability, Student Retention and Success and Financial Sustainability

Implement tuition models that align with affordability, student retention and success and financial sustainability.

Credit Hour Transfer

AU will work with transfer students who have earned transferable credits to apply their credits appropriately and competitively to their desired academic program.

Internal & External Marketing

Review existing, enhance existing and launch new marketing efforts aligned with the Strategic Enrollment Plan.

Contact Information

Rick Ewing
Vice President, Operations & Planning

Aaron Gabriel Ross
Strategic Plan Implementation
Director, Office of the President