Strategic Plan (2015-2021)



The University of Nevada, Reno’s vision is to educate and graduate the best-prepared, confident leaders for the state, national, and global community; to be a nexus for research and creativity that focuses on the vital issues of our time; and to serve as a catalyst for the betterment of our society


Inspired by its land-grant foundation, the University of Nevada, Reno provides outstanding learning, discovery, and engagement programs that serve the economic, social, environmental, and cultural needs of the citizens of Nevada, the nation, and the world. The University recognizes and embraces the critical importance of diversity in preparing students for global citizenship and is committed to a culture of excellence, inclusion, and accessibility.


In all of its activities, the University is guided by the following values:

  • Excellence in all of our endeavors.
  • Integrity in all our actions.
  • Inclusiveness of diverse cultures and identities.
  • Collaboration between disciplines and programs and with community partners and stakeholders.


Founded in 1874, the University of Nevada, Reno (“University”) proudly embraces its historic place among the nation’s land-grant universities and the enduring mission of learning, discovery, and engagement associated with this prestigious designation. The University was relocated from Elko to Reno in 1885 and graduated its first class of three students in 1891. From this humble beginning, it has grown into a comprehensive university with 178 buildings, seven colleges and the Division of Health Sciences, a School of Medicine, 40 academic departments, and research expenditures of $100 million, while becoming a National Merit Sponsoring Institution with a record enrollment near 20,000 students in the fall of 2014.

Implicit with its land-grant mission to disseminate useful and practical information to the public, and in accordance with Nevada Revised Statutes, the University offers research-based knowledge and programs to address critical community needs across the state. It is home to the University of Nevada School of Medicine, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, Nevada Small Business Development Center, Nevada Industry Excellence, Nevada Seismology Laboratory, the Agricultural Experiment Station, and other statewide programs. Extended Studies provides programs and alternate delivery methods and services that address diverse academic, professional development, and cultural needs of Nevada and beyond.

The University of Nevada, Reno is a Tier-1 “best national university” as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies it as “Research University/High”, as well as a “Comprehensive Doctoral” and “Balanced Arts and Sciences/Professions High Graduate Coexistence University”.

While maintaining its commitment to being accessible and affordable, the University maintains high academic standards and attracts outstanding undergraduate and graduate scholars from Nevada, the nation, and the world. Its world-class research, artistry, and engagement programs contribute tangibly to fundamental knowledge while also providing practical contributions to issues that are directly relevant to the citizens of Nevada.

One of the primary goals of the University of Nevada, Reno is to improve lives of citizens of Nevada through exploration and engagement with a 21st century approach to the land-grant mission. The University is focused on building a collaborative academic and research environment that enables its vision of producing world-improving discoveries and fostering innovation and commercialization. In close partnership with the local, regional, and state economic development organizations, the University is implementing a shared goal of achieving economic diversity and prosperity in northern Nevada. The University is an engine of economic development with annual expenditures exceeding $500 million.

With over 4,250 employees, the University is the second largest employer in the region. Expenditures from all grants and contracts exceeded $100 million in fiscal year 2014 with an additional $85 million being provided by the federal government in the form of student financial aid. In the past year, the University launched 3 new start-up companies and is fostering development of more in the private sector. From 2007 to 2013, $500 million in new construction has been completed on campus, and an additional $154 million of construction projects are in the works, with construction expenditures injecting jobs and revenue into the region’s economy. Enrollment growth continues on a strong trajectory from close to 20,000 in 2014 (a record high) and is anticipated to eclipse 22,000 students during the planning period of this document. The economic impact of increased enrollment is estimated to increase by $175 million annually. Clearly, the University of Nevada, Reno is a key economic driver for the Reno area and northern Nevada.

It is recognized that several forces currently are influencing or likely are to significantly influence the development of the University. Over the next six years it is anticipated that enrollment will grow to and likely exceed 22,000 students; this, combined with growth in research programs, will strain the capacity of the University, both in terms of facilities and personnel. Limited resources from the state will most likely persist for the foreseeable future. This will necessitate an increasingly entrepreneurial business model as the University also works with legislators to demonstrate the value of the institution’s contribution and the return that follows state investment.

First-generation students and those who are from diverse racial and cultural demographics will continue to be an increasing percentage of our community. Multidisciplinary initiatives that connect across two or more units will continue to grow in importance and significance, gain favor by funding agencies, and potentially set the University apart, as noted by the Faculty Senate’s 2012 commission on “The Future of the University of Nevada, Reno.” Major developments such as Nevada’s designation as a major test site for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems, Tesla’s gigafactory, and the global challenge of cyber security will influence the University’s educational and research programs. Global climate change will present challenges for life styles and economic development in Nevada, the driest state in the nation. Alternative modes of educational delivery will fundamentally influence the structure of higher education. Nevada’s growing population will continue to generate demand for health-care providers.

Joining the Mountain West Conference raises expectations for and demands on the athletic programs. It is a certainty that these and additional unforeseen and unforeseeable circumstances, both positive and negative, will impact the University in the years to come. The strategic plan serves as a guide to the University’s evolution over the next six years and its responsiveness to a dynamic landscape. It will be reviewed, evaluated, and updated annually by Core Theme committees to reflect changing realities.

 In the 2013 self-study document prepared for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the University identified three interconnected “core themes” that relate to its broad mission. Here, these themes are restated and labeled as Learning, Discovery, and Engagement, recognizing each as a critical component of our broad mission:

Theme 1 – Learning

Prepare graduates to compete globally through high-quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and selected professional programs.

Theme 2 – Discovery

Create new knowledge through basic and applied research, scholarship, and artistry in strategically selected fields relevant to Nevada and its role in the wider world.

Theme 3 – Engagement

Strengthen the social, economic, and environmental wellbeing of Nevada citizens, communities, organizations, and governments through community outreach and reciprocal partnerships.

In pursuit of fulfilling our mission and its components, the University has established goals and specific activities that will guide our obligations, aspirations, and responses to anticipated forces of change. We have identified metrics by which we will measure our progress.


Key Drivers

In addition, seven key drivers further the focus of this strategic plan’s three key themes, and are also fundamental to the corresponding Master Plan. These key drivers are:

  • Learning Landscape. Encourage access and innovation in teaching and learning
  • Student Experience. Create a small college feel within a large University context
  • Innovation Platform. Promote research, collaboration, and entrepreneurship
  • Campus Character. Foster a unique identity and sense of place
  • Connectivity. Develop integrated, multi-modal mobility
  • Campus in the City. Integrate the University and the city
  • Growth and Change. Offer near- and long-term development opportunities

Theme 1 - Learning

Prepare graduates to compete globally through high-quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and selected professional programs.

Goal 1

Provide high-quality undergraduate degree programs taught by a diverse, well-qualified faculty who continually improve the curriculum through assessment and innovation.

  • Grow faculty primarily through hiring tenure-track faculty with outstanding scholarly and teaching credentials.
  • Fully implement the Silver Core Curriculum.
  • Establish and evaluate Student Learning Outcomes for all courses.
  • Promote a culture of experiential learning, including research, internships, performances, and regional and national competitions.
  • Systematically review and improve existing degree programs.
Theme 1 (Learning): Goal 1 Metrics
Goal 1 Metrics 2014 2021
New tenure-track faculty lines 42 300
Student: faculty ratio 21.6 18:1
Classes w/< 19 students 19% 25%
Undergraduate degree programs aligned with Silver Core Curriculum 0% 100%
Undergraduate participation in research 217 400
Diversity of academic faculty 21% 25%
Percent of programs on track with program review 84% 100%

Goal 2

Recruit a high-achieving, diverse student body and provide access and a clear path to graduation.

  • Maintain academic standards and credentials of students.
  • Provide scholarships to academically meritorious students including those with financial need.
  • Increase the diversity of the student body.
  • Move from emerging Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) to a designated HSI.
  • Provide intensive academic orientation for entering freshmen.
  • Implement “15 to Finish” NSHE initiative.
  • Provide University housing and facilities that promote a culture of learning and a sense of community.
  • Develop and implement the “Pack Promise” to provide a strategic guide toward timely graduation.
Theme 1 (Learning): Goal 2 Metrics
Goal 2 Metrics 2014 2021
Fall-to-Fall freshmen retention 82% 88%
6-year graduation rate 54.8% 60.8%
National Merit, Achievement, Hispanic 49 60
National Hispanic Scholars 4 50
Freshman class with ACT > 26 25% 35%
Student participation in NevadaFIT 340 1,000
Diversity of undergraduate student body 34% 45%
Average student credit load 13.2 14
Professional advisor:student ratio 871:1 500:1

Goal 3

Provide high-quality graduate programs taught by research-active faculty.

  • Increase the number of graduate teaching and research assistantships.
  • Provide stipends that are nationally competitive.
  • Strategically develop new PhD programs.
  • Increase diversity of graduate students.
  • Revise policies and procedures to reduce time-to-completion while maintaining high standards.
Theme 1 (Learning): Goal 3 Metrics
Goal 3 Metrics 2014 2021
Graduate Teaching Assistant lines 476 700
Graduate Teaching Assistant stipend $15,500 Peer Median
PhD enrollment 789 1,000
PhD 6-year completion rate 42.9% 50%
Diversity of graduate students 21% 25%
Master's enrollment 1,580 1,890

Goal 4

Offer a broad array of choices for instructional format, location, and schedule, including study-abroad opportunities.

  • Redesign selected undergraduate and graduate courses for alternative delivery modes following best practices at peer and aspirant institutions.
  • Provide incentives for faculty to demonstrate and implement innovative instructional designs, including online, and hybrid models.
  • Recruit and retain leading-edge instructional design staff.
  • Evaluate comprehensively the feasibility of a trimester calendar as a means of reducing time to graduation and increasing utilization of university resources.
Theme 1 (Learning): Goal 4 Metrics
Goal 4 Metrics 2014 2021
Online courses offered 182 225
Online degree programs 5 10
Online FTEs 1,547 1,850
Credit-bearing courses offered at satellite locations 155 185
Undergraduate students who participate in study abroad 11% 15%
Report on feasibility of trimester by June 30, 2016 Blank on Purpose Blank on Purpose

Goal 5

Prepare students for personal and professional success, to be informed global citizens, and to pursue healthy lifestyles.

Provide career counseling that helps students identify rewarding employment.

  • Emphasize continuous reinforcement of writing practice.
  • Emphasize the balance of body, mind, and spirit.
  • Improve healthfulness of food available on campus.
  • Promote participation in study-abroad and community engagement programs.
  • Create and support a tobacco-free campus.
  • Sustain an engaged campus characterized by active student clubs and organizations.
Theme 1 (Learning): Goal 5 Metrics
Goal 5 Metrics 2014 2021
Employment rate one year after graduation 90% 95%
Complete construction of E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center Planning Complete 2016
Establish Writing in the Disciplines program Blank on Purpose Fall 2016
Tobacco-free campus Blank on Purpose Fall 2015

Theme 2 - Discovery

Create new knowledge through basic and applied research, scholarship, and artistry in strategically selected fields that affect Nevada, the nation, and the world.

Goal 1

Enhance the quality, value, and range of the University’s research and artistry. Attain classification as a “Carnegie Research University/Very High.”

  • Enhance grant-writing and technical writing support and management for faculty and students through additional training and resources.
  • Align teaching loads with discipline-specific standards at peer and aspirant research universities.
  • Encourage commercialization of intellectual property and facilitate partnerships with the private sector.
  • Add faculty members who are funded primarily from research contracts and grants.
  • Increase the number of graduate teaching and research assistant lines in PhD-granting programs.
  • Increase the number of endowed professorships and chairs.
Theme 2 (Discovery): Goal 1 Metrics
Goal 1 Metrics 2014 2021
Research expenditures $98 million $150 million
Patents issued/$10M in research expenditures 16 32
New start-up companies 3 10
Graduate research assistantships 371 450
Research (non-tenure track) faculty supported by grants 61 75
Postdoctoral scholars 82 100
Endowed professorships and chairs 33 55

Goal 2

Invest in disciplinary and interdisciplinary research areas that build upon existing strength and that are responsive to emerging needs and opportunities, with emphasis on the following:

  • Advanced autonomous systems
  • Agriculture
  • Communication and creative expression
  • Computational sciences/digital visual arts, science, and technology
  • Cyber security
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental Studies: Environmental Science/Society and Environment
  • Global Studies
  • Great Basin Studies
  • Health Sciences/Biosciences/Wellness/Nutrition
  • Integrated Earth Systems: Earth sciences and engineering; mineral resources; reclamation, historical preservation, policy Neuroscience
  • P-20 Education
  • Renewable energy
  • Social Justice
Theme 2 (Discovery): Goal 2 Metrics
Goal 2 Metrics 2014 2021
Total new faculty hires in priority areas 39 250
National/International awards and honorifics received by faculty 155 185
Referreed publications 713 850

Goal 3

Strengthen infrastructure required to support world-class discovery, scholarship, and creativity.

  • Build, renovate, and sustain research and performance facilities in order to increase research/artistic productivity and efficiency.
  • Provide access to High-Performance Computing resources necessary to support computational research.
  • Expand use of shared technical equipment.
  • Create a research and commercialization foundation.
  • Add administrative and technical support positions needed to accommodate growth and translate discovery into innovation and knowledge.
  • Reinstate the faculty PC replacement program.
Theme 2 (Discovery): Goal 3 Metrics
Goal 3 Metrics 2014 2021
Begin construction on Engineering building Planning Blank on Purpose
Add an additional Fine Arts building Planning Blank of Purpose
Renovate Palmer, Scrugham/Chemistry/Leifson labs Planning Blank on Purpose
Addition of administrative and technical support positions 596 763
Square footage of research and artistry space 434,000 532,000
Equipment grants $1.7M $3.5M
Establish a research foundation No Yes

Goal 4

Revise rules, policies, and procedures to more effectively promote research, artistry, and entrepreneurial activities.

  • Streamline procedures and processes in order to increase efficiency and reduce roadblocks to proposal development.
  • Minimize the need for paper in all university business.
  • Review existing procedures, improve what can be improved under current rules, request needed changes to existing rules and laws as appropriate.
  • Encourage and reward collaborative work, while reducing disincentives, in all of its manifestations across all dimensions of the institution.
Theme 2 (Discovery): Goal 4 Metrics
Goal 4 Metrics 2014 2021
Paperless transactions TBD 90%
Grant proposals submitted 888 1,060
Success rate of proposal submissions 28% 40%

Theme 3 - Engagement

Strengthen the social, economic, and environmental wellbeing of people by engaging Nevada citizens, communities, and governments.

Goal 1

Develop and adopt a unified concept and vision for the University’s public engagement and land-grant mission.

  • Recognize and highlight the public engagement of faculty across resident instruction, research, and Extension.
  • Develop University-wide mechanisms to promote interconnections across all forms or types of engagement without introducing new centralized structures.
  • Develop enhanced strategic partnerships between on-campus education programs and community-based Extension and outreach.
Theme 3 (Engagement): Goal 1 Metrics
Goal 1 Metrics 2014 2021
Adopt a broad and inclusive definition of land-grant engagement at the University Blank on Purpose Report by June 30, 2015
Create additional awards for community engagement Blank on Purpose Report by June 30, 2015
Implementation of an annual engagement report Blank on Purpose Report by June 30, 2015
Develop a mechanism for tracking partnerships between on-campus education programs and community-based programs Blank on Purpose Report by June 30, 2015
Develop a mechanism for tracking collaborations with University alumni Blank on Purpose Report by June 30, 2015
Recognize community engagement in tenure and promotion Blank on Purpose Report by June 30, 2015

Goal 2

Work in concert with government and industry to diversify and develop Nevada’s economy and communities.

  • Identify and pursue opportunities to support the economic plan of the State of Nevada.
  • Encourage community focused university-county-city-state partnerships across all engagement entities and cross-entity collaboration to enhance the value of university resources for Nevadans.
  • Establish environments that promote synergistic interactions between faculty and students and the community.
  • Promote revitalization of downtown Reno through joint planning and collaboration with the City, the Regional Transportation Commission, and other partners.
Theme 3 (Engagement): Goal 2 Metrics
Goal 2 Metrics 2014 2021
Sponsored research projects that align with Nevada economic plan 401 500
Contract expenditures for instruction and public service $29M $40M
Established programs in “Innovation Center” Under way Completed
Faculty with state appointments 8 20
Businesses consulted for service learning 110 130
SBDC companies served 1,334 1,500

Goal 3

Improve mental and physical health and quality of life for Nevada’s diverse and growing population.

  • Forge partnerships with public and private hospitals, healthcare institutions, and community agencies to enhance medical and health professional education throughout the State of Nevada.
  • Expand graduate medical education.
  • Expand community and state partnerships in public health, including county health departments and districts, state agencies, and public health laboratories to enhance public health practice and education.
  • Develop special areas of expertise and focused training programs that will enhance Nevada’s economic and social development as well as the health and quality-of-life of Nevada communities and counties.
  • Provide preventative outreach programs that encourage good health and nutrition.
Theme 3 (Engagement): Goal 3 Metrics
Goal 3 Metrics 2014 2021
Formal partnerships with hospitals 21 24
Establish a full 4-year school of medicine in Reno Planning Complete
Accreditation for a Master and PhD of Public Health 2 MS 4 MS + PhD
Clients served through clinical services 344,195 500,000
Graduate Medical Education residencies and fellowships 362 758
Nursing and clinical psychology graduate students 134 150

Goal 4

Provide access to informal and formal learning and services for citizens of all cultural backgrounds, ages, abilities, and locations.

  • Increase student participation in service-learning classes.
  • Increase youth and adult experiential learning through programs such as 4-H and Master Gardeners.
  • Use technology for workshops, seminars, and other outreach activities to serve Nevada businesses, agencies, and institutions.
  • Incentivize faculty to participate in community-based and service-learning education programs.
  • Use satellite facilities to offer existing and new educational and outreach programs.
  • Assist communities in emergency and disaster preparedness through programs such as the Great Nevada Shake-Out, Living With Fire, and Nevada Flood Awareness Week.
Theme 3 (Engagement): Goal 4 Metrics
Goal 4 Metrics 2014 2021
Students participating in Service Learning 868 1,050
Children participating in 4-H 65,434 80,000
Participation in statewide disaster preparedness programs 90 100
Educational offerings at Redfield Campus 11 15
Formal partnerships with regional businesses, nonprofit, and government sectors 104 150

Goal 5

Work with school districts to improve college readiness of high-school graduates.

  • Actively engage with K-12 programs to improve college readiness.
  • Use online delivery to provide dual-credit courses to qualified high school students.
  • Establish and lead statewide initiative to implement UTeach model of secondary STEM teacher education.
  • Provide programs to develop early childhood literacy and school preparedness for Pre-K to grade 3 children.
  • Prepare youth for college readiness through experiential, classroom, and outside-the-classroom youth education and 4-H programs.
Theme 3 (Engagement): Goal 5 Metrics
Goal 5 Metrics 2014 2021
Washoe County high school graduates prepared to enroll in college-level math and English M = 68%
E = 86%
M = 80%
E = 95%
High school students completing dual-credit courses 65,434 78,000
Students pursuing UTeach teacher certification 0 100
Dean’s Future Scholars 350 450

Goal 6

Provide lectures, exhibits, performances, and athletic events that enrich the cultural fabric of the community and expose young minds to the world of possibilities in academics, the arts and culture, and athletics.

  • Attract student and community members to University productions in the visual and performing arts that highlight our talented students and faculty.
  • Attract student and community members to attend University NCAA events.
  • Provide musical, cultural, and sport programs (e.g., Jazz Festival and summer sports camps) for children and adults.
  • Present world-class scholars, thinkers, and performers.
  • Provide county-based community outreach activities statewide.
Theme 3 (Engagement): Goal 6 Metrics
Goal 6 Metrics 2014 2021
Attendance at visual and performing-arts events 37,800 45,000
Attendance at athletic events 273,000 325,000
Participation in festivals and camps 9,316 11,100
Participation in Cooperative Extension community engagement outreach activities by county 350 450

Strategic Initiatives by Functional Area


The University is committed to providing the infrastructure necessary to fulfill our three core themes. Achieving this objective requires optimal use and investment of financial resources as well as optimal use of existing and future facilities. Institutional Analysis has conducted studies to determine the investments that will be required to meet the demands of a university with 22,000 students while also establishing credentials that will result in its recognition as a Carnegie Research University/Very High. The following infrastructure needs for key functional components of the University are guided by these studies.

Student and Educational Resources

  • Teaching capacity. To be responsive to growing enrollment and as faculty make increasing use of technology in teaching, the University must be responsive to these needs. In addition to hiring additional academic faculty and graduate teaching and research assistants, the University will (1) revise class scheduling to assure that available classrooms are being used optimally, (2) build additional classrooms to accommodate expanded enrollment, (3) develop a plan for assuring that technology in classrooms is updated on a regular basis, and (4) use course-management software that will predict and prepare for course demand.
  • Colleges. Colleges and academic departments operate with very lean administrative and technical support staffs. Over the course of this planning period we anticipate adding 18 administrative faculty and 70 classified staff positions that will be distributed on a competitive basis.
  • Student Housing. As of Fall 2014, the University housed approximately 66% of new freshmen and 17% of the total undergraduate population. Comparisons with national peers indicate that we should accommodate 80% of new freshmen students and 25% of the total undergraduate student body, and it is our goal to do so over the next 10 years. After completion of the 2014-15 academic year, Lincoln and Manzanita Halls will no longer be used for student housing. Thus, meeting our housing goals will require aggressive construction of new residence halls by the University as well as exploration of public-private partnerships. Additionally, the University should pursue public-private partnerships that would provide affordable, accessible, and safe housing for young faculty and students with families. Library. The Knowledge Center and associated center for Teaching and Learning Technology (TLT) provide critical resources for the University. Declining and stagnant operating budgets have not kept pace with the increasing costs of periodical subscriptions. We will work to identify additional operational funds and explore alternative approaches to securing the resources needed to support the scholarly pursuits of students and faculty at a major research university. We anticipate hiring 3 librarians, 4 TLT faculty, and 3.5 classified staff over the course of this planning period.
  • Undergraduate Education. The rapidly growing undergraduate population requires additional staffing in key support programs. A total of 7.5 positions will be distributed among the Honors Program, the Office of Service Learning and Engagement, the Advising Center, the Writing Center, the Math Center, and the Core Curriculum.
  • Graduate Education. As noted in this plan, we anticipate adding 252 new graduate teaching assistantships (GTA) and several new grant-supported graduate research assistantships (GRA) over the course of this planning period. The graduate school will be responsible for distribution of the new GTA positions.


  • Maintenance. The University has a prohibitively large backlog of deferred maintenance. This inescapable fact necessitates that our investments in maintenance be highly strategic and impactful. As described in the 2004-14 University Master Plan, the University has established and will follow plans to upgrade electrical and chilled-water systems. Facilities Services has established a priority list of deferred maintenance and will continue to address critical maintenance needs as resources become available. In addition to functionality, an overarching priority for maintenance will be the health and life safety of members of the campus community.
  • Repurposing and renovation of existing facilities. As new buildings come on line (e.g., the William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center and the E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center) and existing facilities are partially or completely adapted to new uses (e.g., Lincoln and Manzanita Halls, Lombardi), we will determine the optimal use of these buildings. In doing so, we will be mindful of the university’s districts identified in the Master Plan. A state allocation funded through the Slot Tax will be used to renovate laboratories in Scrugham, Palmer, Chemistry, and Leifson. Tactical renovation of individual laboratories in the life sciences and other facilities will be funded using recovered indirect costs from contracts and grants.
  • Core research facilities. Several core research facilities provide critical support to the research mission of the university, including the Vivarium, the Genomics Core Facility, the Proteomics Core Facility, the In-Vivo Imaging Core Facility, the Center for Bioinformatics, and the Biosafety Level 3 Laboratory. As research capacity grows, these facilities will require additional staffing and equipment upgrades. Over this planning period we anticipate adding a High Performance Computing Core Facility and an Advanced Manufacturing Core Facility. Funding required to support the needs of these facilities will come from federal, private, and institutional sources.
  • New facilities. The University plans construction of new facilities to meet emerging needs of the university in the areas of research, teaching, and fitness. The William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center is scheduled for completion in January, 2016. Following the endorsement of ASUN, the Board of Regents approved a student fee in support of construction of the E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center and a Fieldhouse, which will be a shared-use athletics/student recreation facility (see Athletics below). Initial planning for a new Engineering building is under way. Critical needs have been identified for new facilities to support Business, Community Health Sciences, and Biology and opportunities to meet these needs will be aggressively explored. A new Fine Arts building will provide additional performance and exhibition spaces. In addition, new facilities will always be developed in a manner that ensures students with disabilities have equal access to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from all University programs.
  • Gateway. As described in the University Master Plan, we pursue opportunities to support the revitalization of north Reno and expand the University south of 9th Street, between Evans and Virginia. Planning for the Gateway Project is a collaborative effort with the City of Reno and the Regional Transportation Commission. It is proposed to involve closure of Center and Lake Streets between 8th and 9th Streets and routing traffic towards the Virginia Street corridor. We will explore the possibility of constructing an academic facility, such as a College of Business complex. The Gateway Project will also likely include student housing for upperclassmen and outdoor recreational fields.
  • Childcare. The University provides excellent childcare but is unable to meet current demands because of limited facilities. The University will develop a plan to expand childcare services in line with the University’s mission and with the goal of meeting the needs of the growing number of students, faculty, and staff.
  • Athletics. We aspire to provide the athletic facilities and related infrastructure required to be a conference leader. As described in the University Master Plan, we plan to: (1) Construct a new Fieldhouse, which will provide indoor practice facilities for football, baseball, softball, soccer, and track. It will also be available for student use, including intramural sports; (2) Construct new indoor and outdoor tennis facilities; (3) Pursue and complete upgrades to Mackay Stadium, including Legends Plaza, club seating, and restrooms; (4) Upgrade facilities to provide modern and efficient training and practice facilities as well as a much needed dining facility for athletes.
  • Conservation. As we construct new buildings and repurpose and remodel existing facilities, we will strive to meet LEED Silver Level guidelines, ever mindful of maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing the environmental impact of our facilities and operations while exploring and considering renewable energy and sustainable development options. Our obligation to do so is twofold. First, as a scholarly institution we have an obligation to recognize and be responsive to global and local environmental issues. Second, environmentally responsible practices typically result in long-term efficiencies that result in substantial financial savings. Nevada is the most arid state in the nation, and the University will seek to develop water features on the campus to celebrate the importance of water as a foundation of opportunity in Nevada.


  • Faculty retention. Fulfillment of our missions of Learning, Discovery, and Engagement critically depends on recruitment and retention of academic faculty. The University makes significant investments in conducting national/international searches to attract outstanding scholars and also invests significantly in infrastructure and start-up packages that allow faculty to realize their potential. The University will adopt policies and national best practices that encourage outstanding faculty to continue their careers at the University.
  • Security and safety. The safety and security of University students, faculty and staff, and campus visitors is of paramount importance. Policies, procedures, and practices will be periodically reviewed and updated in order to maximize the security and safety of the campus community. Working with campus police, an “Organizational Resilience” plan will be developed to describe integrated best practices in incident response, crisis, and continuity management. As noted above, additional police officers will be hired in response to growth in our campus community. A proactive approach toward raising awareness about safety and minimizing the occurrence of sexual harassment and assault will be continued. Environmental Health and Safety responds or reports to over twenty different regulatory agencies on hundreds of different regulations where compliance is required. As the research activity and overall population of the University grows, additional EH&S staffing and infrastructure will be required in order to meet regulatory requirements and maintain a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty and staff.


  • Administration and Finance. The current Administration and Finance division staffing is inadequate to meet current University needs, and the deficiency is increasing as the number of students and academic faculty increases. Over the course of this planning period, A&F projects hiring 10 administrative faculty and 48 classified staff that include police officers, human resources, Business & Finance, and custodial and grounds staff.
  • Student Services. Student Services will expand to meet the demands of the growing student population. A total of 38 administrative faculty and 6 classified staff will be added in the following areas: Office of Prospective Students, Admissions and Records, Disability Resource Center, Veterans Services, Financial Aid, Career Services, Student Persistence, Substance Abuse, Greek Organizations, Student Conduct.
  • IT Infrastructure. A transition to Google “email for life” for all University students has begun, with the goal to have all students using Google email by Fall 2015. A comparable third-party email system will be examined for faculty and staff, which will provide substantial additional storage capacity. We anticipate adding 10 new administrative faculty and 5 new classified staff in support of growing IT needs.


  • Philanthropy. Modern public research universities depend on five sources of funding: state investments, tuition and fees, grants and contracts, self-generated funds, and philanthropy. The University has launched a seven-year comprehensive campaign over the period 2013-2020 with a goal of raising $500 million. Through this campaign the University will seek to secure donor investment that supports the broad mission of the University. The campaign will be guided by the priorities identified in this plan as well as the 2015-2024 Master Plan. Specifically, funds will be sought to support (1) student scholarships and fellowships, (2) programs that enhance student success, (3) endowed professorships and chairs for faculty recruitment and retention, and (4) buildings and facilities. It is anticipated that 16 new administrative faculty will be added in support of the campaign.

The Planning Process

This institutional strategic plan serves as a guide for University development and responds to a requirement of the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents. The plan has been developed with the input of the University community, as well as external stakeholders, and has benefited from the assistance of consultants. Additionally, this plan draws from The Commission Report on The Future of the University of Nevada, Reno completed by a Faculty Senate Commission in December 2012. This final draft was submitted to the President for approval and presentation to the Board of Regents.

Approved by NSHE Board of Regents, December 2014