PSU Strategic Plan 2012

Plymouth State University CampusPlymouth State University is a public regional comprehensive university of approximately 4,300 undergraduate students and 2,700 graduate students. It has a long tradition of meeting the evolving educational needs of the New Hampshire and New England communities. Established in 1871 as Plymouth Normal School, the institution became Plymouth Teacher’s College in 1939, Plymouth State College in 1963, and Plymouth State University in 2003. PSU’s attractive residential campus of wide greens, tree-lined walkways and traditional brick buildings is located in the White Mountains and Lakes Region of New Hampshire, a pristine rural setting of great natural beauty and multiple outdoor recreational opportunities within easy access of the New England region.


As a regional comprehensive university, Plymouth State University serves New Hampshire and New England by preparing well-educated graduates; by offering ongoing opportunities for graduate education and professional development; and by extending to communities partnership opportunities for cultural enrichment and economic development. In each of these roles, Plymouth State University has a special commitment of service to the North Country and Lakes Region of New Hampshire.


The University motto, Ut prosim (That I may serve) underscores the values upon which the Plymouth State University mission is built. These values are supported by the faculty, staff, and administration through a commitment to excellent teaching based on scholarship, research, and creative endeavor; active involvement in University activities; and service to the wider community. Plymouth State University emphasizes sustainability. Plymouth State University creates an environment that supports diversity, equity, and inclusiveness for the entire community and actively prepares students to participate respectfully and responsibly in a pluralistic society. Plymouth State University is committed to providing the best possible educational programming and therefore strives for continuous program improvement through comprehensive institutional assessment.

The educational philosophy of the University is based on academic excellence, learner-centered teaching, experiential learning, applied research, regional service, and leadership. The Plymouth State University education features a complementary relationship between liberal arts and professional studies, between academic and personal development, between service and individual growth, and between the University campus and the larger community.

Guiding Principles

When planning and determining goals and priorities, Plymouth State University is guided by the following principles:

  • Student Centeredness
  • Excellence
  • Ut prosim (That I may serve)

We are Student-Centered. Decisions are made with the best interest of the students in mind; we value teaching excellence; we constantly work to improve access, opportunity and affordability; we offer programs that are holistic and provide optimum support for students to succeed.

We are committed to Excellence in all that we do, including academic programs offered, research conducted, and service and cultural enrichment provided to the region.

Our motto, Ut prosim (That I may serve), is an integral component of the Plymouth State University way of life. Through regional service and applied research, Plymouth State University shares its intellectual resources with the community to solve real problems and to develop tomorrow’s leaders.


The Plymouth State University community agrees on the importance of the following categories: Excellence and Quality, Student Success, Faculty and Staff Support, Partnerships and Engagement, and Physical, Technological, and Financial Resources. The goals and priorities listed on the following pages are not intended to target specific segments of the campus; rather all five goals are embraced by all corners of the campus community.

Excellence and Quality

Student centered learning

Goal: Plymouth State University demonstrates excellence and the highest quality in all endeavors.


  1. Achieve excellence and high quality in all academic and co-curricular programs, research, outreach, and community and partnership activities.
  2. Support faculty as they pursue the highest quality teaching, service, research and scholarly work; and staff as they work to reach institutional goals.
  3. Offer co-curricular programming and activities of distinction.
  4. Improve programs through appropriate assessment and through development of a culture of evidence.
  5. Cultivate PSU’s commitment to being a more vibrant, inclusive, and multicultural community by diversifying the student body and faculty and staff; and by developing curricula and regularly assessing policies and programs to enhance an understanding of and respect for all people.

Student Success

Goal: Plymouth State University provides exceptional undergraduate and graduate academic experiences that meet the needs of the state and region, enhance students’ intellectual, ethical, and civic development, and prepare students for active engagement in their professions and society.


  1. Provide and improve access to rich and holistic academic and student development programs that foster intellectual and social growth and prepare students to be productive citizens of the world.
  2. Develop students’ skills and knowledge with strong undergraduate and graduate educational programs that integrate writing, critical thinking, and research, and foster intellectual curiosity, creativity, problem-solving, use of technology, and a desire for life-long learning.
  3. Prepare students to live in an increasingly diverse world and global community.
  4. Improve retention and time to degree.
  5. Provide exceptional value with effective and efficient management of University resources, thereby minimizing student indebtedness and financial barriers to completion.
  6. Ensure student success by measuring student outcomes and using appropriate measures for continuous quality improvement.

Faculty and Staff Support

PSU Faculty

Goal: Plymouth State University creates a work environment where faculty thrive in their teaching, service, and scholarly and creative endeavors; staff are supported in their work environments; and all are provided with rich professional development opportunities.


  1. Be an employer of choice for PSU faculty and staff, who excel in their areas of expertise, are committed to student success, and advance the mission of the University.
  2. Balance faculty and staff workload to support the fulfillment of the mission of a regional comprehensive university that includes teaching and learning, research and creativity, service and outreach.
  3. Provide faculty and staff increased opportunities for professional development by encouraging and funding professional and leadership development opportunities.
  4. Recognize and support faculty innovation, exemplary teaching, advising, research, use of instructional and other technologies, and recognize faculty and staff for community outreach and exceptional service.

Partnerships and Engagement

Goal: Plymouth State University actively assists the region in meeting the needs of economic and cultural development by offering rich cultural programming, providing expertise, and facilitating initiatives in the community, state, and beyond.


  1. Increase educational, economic, and cultural partnership and outreach opportunities with local and regional communities.
  2. Increase opportunities for student research, volunteerism, community service, community outreach, and economic development and support, especially within the local community.
  3. Partner with more state agencies and local, regional, national, and international organizations to provide opportunities for internships, field experiences, and professional and continuing education.
  4. Provide increased assistance or guidance to local organizations in meeting their missions through partnerships with University centers and faculty and staff experts.
  5. Develop opportunities for students and alumni to partner in achieving University goals, and increase alumni participation in the community.

Physical, Technological, and Financial Resources

PSU Campus

Goal: Plymouth State University provides first-rate facilities and academic and support equipment, and a campus of aesthetic quality that contributes to the learning and work environments.


  1. Incorporate sustainable practices by “greening” the curriculum, improving physical plant sustainability practices, and promoting a “greener” campus that is environmentally conscious.
  2. Increase funding from non-tuition revenue sources.
  3. Increase the level of giving to the annual fund each year and move forward on a new comprehensive campaign that supports the goals and initiatives of the University.
  4. Remodel and expand facilities to provide a campus that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional and provides a state-of-the-art physical plant in which to live and learn.
  5. Enhance the physical plant, infrastructure, informational resources, and instructional and other technological capabilities of the University.
  6. Assess and enhance operational effectiveness and efficiency.


This strategic plan is a framework from which decisions will be made and the future of the University shaped through ongoing planning and shared governance.

The plan does not articulate each avenue to achieve our goals, because the planning process will be dynamic. Instead, it is a road map that articulates our values, our guiding principles, and our envisioned destination.

The heart of the planning process will take place at the divisional and departmental levels as we use the strategic plan to advance the University.

Strategic Plan 2012 is the basis for what Plymouth State University will become.