Strategic Planning

University of Nevada, Reno campus
This 2018 view of the University of Nevada, Reno campus from the north shows the Joe Crowley Student Union, the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, the William J. Raggio Education Building, the Nazir Anasari Business Building, the Fitzgerald Student Services Building, and the E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center.
Credit: Jeff Dow

The University has served the state of Nevada since 1874, first from Elko, then from Reno. Through time, the University of Nevada, Reno has evolved to become a comprehensive institution of higher education for learning, discovery and community engagement across the full range of academic disciplines. The University regularly engages in strategic planning, master planning and program review in order to meet future needs in instruction, research and community outreach and engagement.


Our mission

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 in preparing students for global citizenship and is committed to a culture of excellence, inclusion and accessibility.


Our 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 vital issues of our time; and to serve as a catalyst for the betterment of our society

Our core themes

Learning We prepare graduates to compete globally through high-quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the liberal arts, sciences and selected professional programs
A drone hovers in the air with a green haze background surrounding it
Discovery We create new knowledge through basic and applied research, scholarship and artistry in strategically selected fields revelant to Nevada and its role in the broader world.
A group of University students pose in a field, with some standing on bales of hay and other standing alongside
Engagement We strengthen the social, economic and environmental well-being of people by engaging with Nevada's citizens, communities and governments.
Two students work in a laboratory, wearing safety glasses as they experiment with lab equipment


  • Student & 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.
  • Facilities
    • 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 9 th 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 is the most arid state in the nation.
  • Personnel
    • 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 as sault 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.
  • Administrative
    • 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.
  • Fundraising


    Modern public research universities depend on five sources of funding: state investments, tuition andfees, grantsand 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
    4. buildings and facilities.
    5. It is anticipated that 16 new administrative faculty will be added in support of the campaign.

Peer institutions

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