Excellence Beyond Boundaries -- a new strategic plan for the College
The College of Humanities and Sciences strategic plan, Excellence Beyond Boundaries, exemplifies the central role of our diverse College at VCU. The breadth of disciplines in the biological sciences, humanities, mathematical and physical sciences, and social and behavioral sciences taught by our distinguished faculty provides students with the foundation to be agile and adaptable in a global environment.

Our strategic plan reflects a commitment to preparing leaders in social and technological innovation who are prepared for careers across the breadth of 21st century opportunities. While providing a cohesive plan for coordinating our efforts to excel, the CHS strategic plan is an intricate complement to VCU’s Quest 2025: Together We Transform strategic plan.

Excellence Beyond Boundaries is the result of an inclusive planning process which drew from the collective wisdom and vision of our faculty, staff, students and alumni. This process produced a unique and authentic strategic plan that presents a common understanding and context for our goals. This plan clarifies our united effort to transform lives through teaching and learning in our classrooms, laboratories and with our communities.

Our mission, vision and core values

To realize our vision and advance our mission and values we have defined four key strategic focus areas.  Each focus area is supported by several specific goals that provide a foundation for and direct our planning and decision-making over the coming years.

Strategic Focus Area I: Attain distinction in preparing students to be leaders in social and scientific innovation in a technologically advancing world and who are prepared for careers across the breadth of 21st century opportunities.

Goal 1: Maximizing positive transformations in students

Maximize positive transformations in each student’s academic ambition and capabilities.

Strategies for Success and Key Performance Measures

  1. Enhance the use of existing advising systems so that relevant data on the progress of each student is made available to the appropriate advisors and faculty and in order for advisors and faculty to have clear pathways of communication and collaboration.
    1. Achieve a 300:1 student to advisor ratio.
    2. Increase the participation in reporting of early alerts, and improve the timeliness of these notifications.
  2. Ensure early and proactive outreach to students who may be struggling in courses or who are unsure of their major or career outlook.
    1. Increase number of students assisted/impacted by advising campaigns and initiatives.
    2. Increase number of and support for groups (i.e., affiliation groups) that target populations with low graduation rates and other markers of performance.
    3. Track and review students receiving grades of D and F, and who have withdrawn (DFW rate); retention rates; and graduation rates by year, major, and demographic group each semester.
  3. Increase opportunities and incentives for students to heighten excellence within and beyond the classroom.
    1. Track grants for student/faculty research, conference attendance, fieldwork, publications, and so on.
    2. Initiate a new student leadership development program within the College.
  4. Provide opportunities for accelerated learning and degree completion.
    1. Where academically appropriate, examine the efficacy of accelerated or three-year degree programs.
Goal 2: Students seamlessly integrated within our community

Facilitate meaningful linkages between each student’s academic work and relevant local, national, and international community environments in preparation for careers in a diverse and evolving twenty-first century environment.

Strategies for Success and Key Performance Measures

  1. Expand opportunities for experiential learning for each student (see also SFA IV: Goal 1, p. 12).
    1. Increase and track funding for student expenses related to internships, education abroad, research, and similar activities.
    2. Provide support for faculty to develop departmental core courses that involve experiential learning.
    3. Establish efficient review, approval, and tracking process for affiliation agreements with sites for internship or clinical placements.
  2. Ensure that each student has multiple opportunities to engage in work with diverse teams.
    1. Provide support for faculty to develop departmental core courses that involve team building, conflict management, and diversity awareness.
  3. Introduce each student to professionals and potential role models/mentors in their disciplines and related fields.
    1. Host on-campus events involving student interaction with successful professionals across disciplines.
    2. Create and track departmental level faculty–student mentor programs and opportunities.
    3. Develop and implement at the College level a tool to formalize and track mentoring efforts (an analog to the School of Business’ BizConnect).
  4. Improved career services for all students.
    1. Utilize the VCU Career Services to provide support for career-related modules or courses.
    2. Track the number of and attendance at workshops/speakers on career development at both the College and department level.
    3. Increase and track the use of major maps.
    4. Develop an alumni employment/career database.
Goal 3: Disciplinary skills and appreciation for interconnections

Provide opportunities and incentives for each student to build both the technical, disciplinary skill sets and broader interdisciplinary connections that are foundational to lifelong professional adaptability and personal growth.

Strategies for Success and Key Performance Measures

  1. Ensure that basic communications and critical thinking/analytical skills are embedded in core course work for each student.
    1. Working with the VCU Career Services, provide support and incentives for departments to encourage the development of student e-portfolios (multimedia).
    2. Increase the number of and track grants for the development of core course components/modules that strengthen communications skills.
  2. Incentivize innovative and unique interdisciplinary courses and curricula.
    1. Develop and track formal college-level incentives for interdisciplinary courses/curricula to coexist with the new budget model.
Key performance metrics

Goal 1: Maximize positive transformations in each student’s academic ambition and capabilities.
Key performance measure Academic year 2017-18 Academic year 2024-25 goal
a. College-wide student-to-adviser ratio 268:1 All individual units under 300:1
b. Number of Student Success Collaborative campaigns and email campaigns/outreach 34 SSC campaigns, 91 email outreach (125 total) All units participating in SSC campaigns and outreach
c. Number of student affiliation groups (number of participants) African American Student Mentoring Program; Latinx Student Mentoring Program Track number of participants
d. College-wide D grades, F grades and withdrawals (DFW) for math and science introduction courses (CHEM, MATH, BIOL) See Table I.a. DFW Rates Across Demographic Groups below.
e. First-year retention rate See Table I.b. Retention Rates (First-Year) Across Demographic Groups below.
f. Six-year graduation rates See Table 1.c. below.



Table I.a. DFW Rates Across Demographic Groups
DFW Rates Academic Year 2017-18 Academic Year 2024-25 Goal (20% reduction)
BIOL 101 28.0% 22.4%
BIOL 151 31.3% 25.0%
BIOL 152 18.4% 14.7%
BIOL 205 57.7% 46.2%
BIOL 300 28.5% 22.8%
BIOL 310 41.2% 33.0%
CHEM 101 46.6% 37.3%
CHEM 102 33.2% 26.6%
CHEM 301 41.2% 33.0%
CHEM 302 35.6% 28.5%
CHEM 309 42.6% 34.1%
MATH 141 39.0% 31.2%
MATH 151 43.2% 34.6%
MATH 200 41.1% 32.9%
MATH 201 32.4% 25.9%



Table I.b. Retention Rates (First-Year) Across Demographic Groups
Retention (first-year) 80.9% return for 2nd year 90% return for 2nd year (12% increase)
American Indian/Alaskan (female) 100.0% 100.0%
American Indian/Alaskan (male) 33.3% 37.3%
Subtotal: American Indian/Alaskan 66.7% 74.7%
Asian (female) 89.3% 100.0%
Asian (male) 81.5% 91.3%
Subtotal: Asian 86.5% 96.8%
Black/African American (female) 83.5% 93.5%
Black/African American (male) 82.7% 92.7%
Subtotal: Black/African American 83.3% 93.3%
Hispanic/Latino (female) 77.4% 86.7%
Hispanic/Latino (male) 81.2% 90.9%
Subtotal: Hispanic/Latino 78.6% 88.1%
International (female) 82.6% 92.5%
International (male) 80.0% 89.6%
Subtotal: International 81.6% 91.4%
Two or more races (female) 77.4% 86.7%
Two or more races (male) 69.1% 77.4%
Subtotal: Two or More Races 74.9% 83.8%
Unknown (female) 86.4% 96.7%
Unknown (male) 83.3% 93.3%
Subtotal: Unknown 85.3% 95.5%
White (female) 78.2% 87.6%
White (male) 80.0% 89.6%
Subtotal: White 78.8% 88.3%



Table I.c. Graduation Rates (Six-Year) Across Demographic Groups
Graduation Rates (six-year) 61% overall 70% (15% increase)
American Indian/Alaskan (female) 90.9% 100.0%
American Indian/Alaskan (male) 60.0% 69.0%
Subtotal: American Indian/Alaskan 81.3% 93.4%
Asian (female) 71.5% 82.2%
Asian (male) 60.7% 69.8%
Subtotal: Asian 66.3% 76.2%
Black/African American (female) 62.1% 71.4%
Black/African American (male) 60.0% 69.0%
Subtotal: Black/African American 61.5% 70.7%
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (female) 50.0% 57.5%
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (male) 28.6% 32.9%
Subtotal: Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 36.4% 41.8%
Hispanic/Latino (female) 56.1% 64.5%
Hispanic/Latino (male) 44.9% 51.7%
Subtotal: Hispanic/Latino 52.1% 59.9%
International (female) 58.3% 67.1%
International (male) 40.9% 47.0%
Subtotal: International 47.1% 54.1%
Two or More Races (female) 72.1% 82.9%
Two or More Races (male) 57.7% 66.3%
Two or More Races (N/R) 0.0% 0.0%
Subtotal: Two or More Races 65.3% 75.1%
Unknown (female) 66.1% 76.0%
Unknown (male) 61.9% 71.2%
Subtotal: Unknown 64.9% 74.7%
White (female) 64.7% 74.4%
White (male) 54.4% 62.5%
Subtotal: White 60.3% 69.4%

Goal 2: Facilitate meaningful linkages between each student’s academic work and relevant local, national and international community environments in preparation for careers in a diverse and evolving 21st century environment.
Key performance measure Academic year 2017-18 Academic year 2024-25 goal
a. Number of students participating in experiential learning (make it REAL initiative; research, study abroad, internships) 109 courses with 2858 students enrolled (653 research, 74 study abroad, 1290 internship) 100% increase in student participation
b. Number of experiential learning courses in the College 109 courses 100% increase in courses offered
c. Number of courses/programs developed specifically to address diversity and inclusion 53 courses, 5 programs Track student participation
d. Number of departments offering mentoring programs (number of students participating in mentoring programs) 6 units offered programs to 2172 students 100% increase in programs and student participants
e. Career preparation activities and programs 16 units offered programs to 1471 students All 17 units and 200% increase in student participation
f. Develop alumni job-placements database In progress Initiate unit level participation in communicating with alumni

Goal 3: Provide opportunities and incentives for each student to build both the technical, disciplinary skill sets and broader interdisciplinary connections that are foundational to lifelong professional adaptability and personal growth.
Key performance measure Academic year 2017-18 Academic year 2024-25 goal
a. Number of collaborative programs with VCU Career Services 11 units offered programs in collaboration with VCU Career Services All 17 units offering programs in collaboration with VCU Career Services
b. Number of interdisciplinary courses and currricula 5 programs with an additional 59 courses Strategically consider new interdisciplinary programs

Strategic Focus Area II: Support student success by ensuring that faculty and staff have the resources necessary, and the opportunities for career development, to engage students in state-of-the-art learning experiences.

Goal 1: Teaching and learning relationships

Bolster student success through meaningful teaching and learning relationships among faculty, staff, and students.

Strategies for Success and Key Performance Measures

  1. Reduce current 42:1 student-to-instructor ratio to 20:1.
    1. Assess and make public student-to-instructor ratios each semester in each unit.
    2. Hire additional primarily tenure-track faculty and term faculty.
    3. In the appropriate departments, hire graduate teaching assistants instead of adjunct instructors.
  2. Increase the number of available classrooms to ease bottleneck courses and to offer a broader range of active learning environments.
    1. Increase the total number of classrooms and specifically add classrooms designated for “active learning.”
    2. Build/designate a new STEM building for teaching science lab courses.
  3. Incentivize faculty and staff to engage with Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) programming (e.g., competitive stipends, faculty fellows positions, and small grants for faculty development) or similar opportunities.
    1. Track the number of faculty participating in CTLE programs.
    2. Incorporate CTLE as an optional component of annual reports, third-year review, and P&T evaluation for teaching excellence.
  4. Recognize faculty and staff at all levels who engage in excellent teaching and mentorship practices.
    1. Establish unit-level faculty awards for teaching and mentorship; establish a yearly conference/seminar/celebration on teaching and learning in the College at which the awardees speak.
  5. Recognize faculty and staff at all levels who publish scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).
    1. Increase and track the number of published books and articles, presentations at regional and national meetings, and technical reports related to SoTL.
    2. Incorporate strategy to include SoTL into annual reports, third-year reviews, and P&T evaluations for teaching excellence.
Goal 2: Transformative learning experiences

Fund and promote the development of transformative learning experiences in domestic and global communities that “make it REAL” for students.

Strategies for Success and Key Performance Measures

  1. Provide support for the development of innovative approaches to existing courses or new curricular offerings.
    1. Establish and track small grants for course development.
  2. Enable faculty to develop service learning courses with Richmond community-partners (or partners in other regions) by offering one-time stipends; encourage VCU to expand the scope of service learning beyond the Richmond area.
    1. Increase the number of first-time service learning courses.
    2. Increase the number of disciplines offering service learning.
    3. Increase the total number of service learning courses and course components (i.e., individual units, course assignments, etc.).
  3. Establish unit-level plans to coordinate experiential learning opportunities (e.g., internships, independent study, study abroad, etc.) providing for a more direct association of the relationship between these programs and the existing curriculum of each course of study.
    1. Track and increase enrollment in for-credit REAL opportunities—internships, study abroad/domestic, independent study.
    2. Identify and coordinate across units supervisors for our “Make it REAL” programs.
  4. Support collaboration among faculty to create projects that our alumni donors or community and corporate sponsors would be interested in funding, similar to a GoFundMe process for faculty–alumni relations.
    1. Raise funds through alumni donors and community sponsors and track the use of those funds.
    2. Fund additional faculty-proposed transformative learning experiences.
  5. Incentivize faculty to engage in public scholarship.
    1. Increase VCU faculty’s visibility in the news, on well-respected blogs, and so on.
    2. Incorporate public scholarship as an optional service component of annual reviews, third-year reviews, and P&T evaluations for service excellence/scholarship excellence.
Goal 3: Enhanced working relationships

Enhance working relationships among staff, tenure-track, term, and adjunct faculty in each department to improve communication and enhance teaching and research opportunities.

Strategies for Success and Key Performance Measures

  1. Work with Staff Council and Faculty Council to provide staff training and incentives to strengthen customer service and knowledge, skills, and abilities.
    1. Announce and schedule focused training opportunities for College staff (e.g., customer service, relationship building, working styles, etc.).
    2. Create a formal mentoring programs for full-time faculty, staff, and adjunct faculty.
    3. Use Talent@VCU to encourage staff and faculty to identify and follow through on professional training and advancement opportunities.
  2. Create professional development opportunities through pedagogical training and orientation initiatives for adjuncts so that they feel included in their home departments and have access to necessary resources.
    1. Assess the needs and concerns of our adjunct faculty.
    2. Develop and incorporate an orientation program and pedagogical training for adjuncts.
    3. Make a formal comparison of student evaluations for adjuncts who have or have not completed pedagogical training offered by VCU.
    4. Require units to develop clear procedures for assessing adjunct teaching and providing feedback in a timely manner.
    5. Create a seat reserved for adjunct faculty on the Faculty Council and Faculty Senate (this requires a bylaws change).
    6. Develop an adjunct listserv to better inform and engage adjunct faculty.
Goal 4: Support for excellence in teaching

Support the development of an environment in which the importance of improved teaching is encouraged, assessed, and valued through promotion of term and tenured faculty.

Strategies for Success and Key Performance Measures

  1. Evaluate teaching using multiple means of measuring effective teaching and learning, including, but not limited to, student teaching evaluations.
    1. Seek unit-level and college-wide input to develop guidelines for evaluating teaching.
    2. Work with CTLE to create a rubric for evaluating teaching practices (management, engagement, assessments, etc.) that is discipline-specific.
  2. Provide opportunities for improving teaching (faculty leaves, attendance at meetings or workshops, for example).
    1. Track the number of faculty who attend workshops or meetings focused on teaching excellence, including CTLE activities.
Key performance metrics

Goal 1: Bolster student success through meaningful teaching and learning relationships among faculty, staff and students.
Key performance measure Academic year 2017-18 Academic year 2024-25 goal
a. Number of tenure track faculty (TTF) and number of term faculty (TF) 268 TTF; 176 TF Shift from 61% TTF to 70% TTF
b. College-wide student-to-faculty ratio See Table II.a. Number of Majors to Unit Faculty and Table II.b. Student Credit Hours Taught to Unit Faculty
c. Number of faculty from underrepresented groups 444 total faculy members; 120 faculty members from underrepresented groups; 13 fewer than previous year—89% retention rate (22 international) Track changes and retention rates for faculty from underrepresented groups
d. Number of graduate teaching assistants compared to number of adjunct faculty 300 GTAs: 295 adjuncts Shift funding from adjunct positions to GTAs
e. Reliance on adjunct faculty (total student credit hours (SCH) for the College and SCH taught by adjunct faculty) 363,034 total SCH; 63,437 SCH taught by adjunct Reduce reliance on adjunct faculty from 17.5 to 10%
f. Increase in office space and research laboratory space (STEM Building) In progress Address space needs for teaching science labs and for office and lab space for new faculty
g. Number of faculty participating in CTLE programs/services 39 faculty members Increase by addressing other metrics focused on excellence in teaching
h. Acknowledge CTLE participation for annual evaluations and promotion and tenure review All 17 units acknowledge CTLE participation Develop College-wide promotion and tenure policy for CTLE participation
i. Establish and recognize unit level and College wide teaching awards 2 units have teaching awards All 17 units recognizing teaching excellence

A cornerstone of our data informed decision-making process is transparency. The data presented in Table IIa and IIb is information that is important in our decision-making, but does not preclude our commitment to providing our students and community with an educational experience anchored in the broad goals of a liberal arts education. Peer-institutional data and important national trends are also considered.

Table II.a. Number of Majors by Number of Unit Faculty
Academic Unit Academic Year 2017-18
# of Majors: Unit Faculty
Academic Year 2024-25 Goal (20% reduction)
# of Majors: Unit Faculty
African  American Studies 14 majors: 6 faculty members Data for this column to be monitored through 2024-25
Biology 2,015 majors: 42 faculty members
Chemistry 503 majors: 41 faculty members
English 384 majors: 36 faculty members
Forensic Science 371 majors: 9 faculty members
Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies 38 majors: 8 faculty members
History 248 majors: 24 faculty members
Kinesiology & Health Sciences 1,467 majors: 13 faculty members
Mathematics & Applied Mathematics 186 majors: 50 faculty members
Philosophy 181 majors: 10 faculty members
Physics 99 majors: 21 faculty members
Political Science 584 majors: 14 faculty members
Psychology 1,511 majors: 49 faculty members
Robertson School of Media & Culture 1,005 majors: 22 faculty members
Sociology 234 majors: 13 faculty members
Statistical Sciences & Operations Research 45 majors: 18 faculty members
School of World Studies 437 majors: 42 faculty members

Table II.b. Student Credit Hours Taught by Number of Unit Faculty
Academic Unit Academic Year 2017-18
Student Credit Hours (SCH)
SCH: Unit Faculty
Academic Year 2024-25 Goal
Student Credit Hours (SCH)
SCH: Unit Faculty
African  American Studies 3,625 SCH: 6 faculty members Data for this column to be monitored through 2024-25
Biology 44,175 SCH: 42 faculty members
Chemistry 31,784 SCH: 41 faculty members
English 15,920 SCH: 36 faculty members
Forensic Science 2,560 SCH: 9 faculty members
Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies 4,778 SCH: 8 faculty members
History 12,563 SCH: 24 faculty members
Kinesiology & Health Sciences 17,240 SCH: 13 faculty members
Mathematics & Applied Mathematics 36,383 SCH: 50 faculty members
Philosophy 7,582 SCH: 10 faculty members
Physics 22,469 SCH: 21 faculty members
Political Science 15,806 SCH: 14 faculty members
Psychology 32,750 SCH: 49 faculty members
Robertson School of Media & Culture 16,753 SCH: 22 faculty members
Sociology 14,637 SCH: 13 faculty members
Statistical Sciences & Operations Research 12,980 SCH: 18 faculty members
School of World Studies 36,791 SCH: 42 faculty members

Goal 2: Fund and promote the development of transformative learning experiences in domestic and global communities that “make it REAL” for students.
Academic Unit Academic Year 2017-18 Academic Year 2024-25 Goal
a. Number of service learning courses (number of students enrolled) 35 (841 students enrolled) 100% increase in student participation
b. Number of for-credit “Make it REAL” experiences (number of students enrolled) 109 courses (2858 students enrolled; 653 research, 74 study abroad, 1290 internship) 100% increase in student participation
c. Number of donor-supported transformative learning experiences (number of student participants) 5 (20 student participants) 100% increase in student participation

Goal 3: Enhance working relationships among staff, tenure-track, term and adjunct faculty in each department to improve communication and enhance teaching and research opportunities.
Academic Unit Academic Year 2017-18 Academic Year 2024-25 Goal
a. Number of staff training programs and number of participants None recorded Document programs and number of participants
b. Staff mentoring programs and number of participants None recorded Document programs and number of participants
c. Number of targeted training programs for adjunct instructors 1 training program All 17 units with training programs

Goal 4: Support the development of an environment in which the importance of improved teaching is encouraged, assessed and valued through promotion of term and tenured faculty.
Academic Unit Academic Year 2017-18 Academic Year 2024-25 Goal
a. Number of academic units with clearly defined measures of effective teaching and learning 10 units report having clearly defined measure of effective teaching All 17 of units with clearly defined measures of effective learning
b. Number of faculty supported to participate in programs/conferences focused on teaching excellence 63 faculty members participated in programs 100% increase in faculty member participation

Strategic Focus Area III: Develop and advance nationally recognized student and faculty scholarship, research, and creative initiatives committed to addressing challenges in our urban Richmond community and beyond.

Goal 1: Recruitment and retention of exceptional faculty

Recruit and retain exceptional faculty engaged in research/scholarship across the varied disciplines represented by the College of Humanities and Sciences.

Strategies for Success and Key Performance Measures

  1. Reduce reliance on part-time faculty.
    1. Decrease the total percentage of part-time faculty.
  2. Eradicate salary compression.
    1. Increase and track the number of merit-based salary increases.
  3. Increase strategic hires of full-time faculty.
    1. Support and track the number of collaborative, multi-PI proposals submitted as a direct result of new hires.
  4. Develop a mentoring plan for all new tenure-track and term faculty that incentivizes faculty to be mentors (e.g., recognition in promotion materials) and an enhanced orientation process for new faculty.
    1. Track the fraction of faculty members who have assigned mentors.
    2. Track the fraction of faculty members who act as mentors.
    3. Develop a brief online survey to assess the effectiveness of mentorship and track the fraction of faculty members who indicate satisfaction with mentoring.
  5. Increase availability of graduate student assistantships and funding for graduate students (make assistantships attractive by covering fees and increasing stipends to be competitive with peer institutions).
    1. Increase the number of graduate students enrolled in degree programs.
  6. Develop a plan for research space that allocates space for new faculty hires and their graduate students.
    1. A comprehensive plan that allocates space for new and existing faculty and aligns with state recommendations for space utilization.
  7. Develop a spousal hiring policy and multi-year enhancement plans.
    1. Develop spousal hiring policy.
    2. Increase and track the number of faculty spouses hired.
    3. Increase and track retention of new hires.
  8. Permanently fund and broaden access to the existing research support opportunities already sponsored by the College (e.g., Seed Awards, Catalyst Awards, grant workshops, writing days).
    1. Increase and track the number of faculty attending these events.
    2. Increase and track the number of types of faculty submitting proposals.
Goal 2: Impact on our community through our research, creativity and scholarship

Increase the College’s involvement with and impact on the metropolitan Richmond area by evaluating change in the lives of Richmond-area residents.

Strategies for Success and Key Performance Measures

  1. Create a plan for the development of a Center that focuses on urban outreach and impact.
    1. Work with the Division of Community Engagement (DCE) to integrate services and develop a research Center focused on urban challenges.
  2. In collaboration with DCE and members of the community identify needs and challenges to better understand where to focus efforts.
    1. Develop needs assessment reports that can be disseminated to the community.
    2. Track the number of subsequent external grant submissions to target those identified needs.
  3. Develop measures and maintain records of improvements in the lives of Richmond-area residents that are a direct or indirect result of the College’s student/teacher initiatives and publicize these records internally and externally.
    1. Through personal contact record in detail—annually and longitudinally—tangible improvements in areas such as housing/homelessness, poverty reduction (jobs), health and education, child care, and transportation.
    2. Include “data” in annual reviews and reports.
  4. Work with the Office of Advancement to secure funding for an annual symposium in the community to share the results of partnerships and collaborations between the university and community.
    1. Once established, annually track the number of participants, speakers, and presentations.
  5. Initiate coordinated faculty methods for disseminating research findings to constituencies throughout the Richmond area.
    1. Track the number of participants, speakers, and presentations, online and in person.
    2. Develop and track opportunities for dissemination of findings in non-academic settings such as social and news media.
Goal 3: Expanding research excellence

Expand VCU’s excellence in research by investing in the strengths and potential areas of growth of our students and faculty.

Strategies for Success and Key Performance Measures

  1. Develop a mock grant review panel and provide small compensation for reviewers.
    1. Increase and track the number of external grant submissions by faculty.
    2. Track the number of successfully funded grants, specifically to record increases.
  2. Provide pilot project funds for both faculty and students to support the growth of interdisciplinary projects that cross traditional boundaries.
    1. Track the number of inter- and multi-disciplinary pilot projects funded.
    2. Track the number of subsequent external grant submissions based on those pilot projects.
  3. Develop a plan to increase support for research and other initiatives that fall under the focus areas of Changing American Communities, Nanomaterials for Energy and Medicine, Data Science, and Mechanisms and Management of Addiction.
    1. Track the increase in research and other initiatives in these areas.
    2. Track measures related to inter- or multidisciplinary research, such as research publications, presentations, or proposals or new interdisciplinary courses.
Key performance metrics

Goal 1: Recruit and retain exceptional faculty engaged in research/scholarship across the varied disciplines in the CHS.
Key performance measure Academic year 2017-18 Academic year 2024-25 goal
a. Number of Catalyst Awards (number of applicants) 5 awards (30 applicants) 50% increase in awards
b. Number of Seed Grant Awards (number of applicants) 20 awards (28 applicants) Maintain program
c. Number of Eminent Scholar Awards Scholar program developed 18 total; 3 per year for a 5-year award
d. Annual salary increases to reach peer institution average 3% faculty increase ≥ 3% per year
e. Number of a full-time faculty serving as mentors and number of faculty being mentored 94 mentors; 68 mentees 100% increase
f. Number of graduate students supported with extramural funding 7 units funding 119 students (40 with partial funding) 50% increase in extramurally supported graduate students
g. Number of grant development workshops (number of participants) 1 (n = 30) 100% increase

Goal 2: Increase the College’s involvement with and impact on the metropolitan Richmond area by evaluating change in the lives of Richmond-area residents.
Key performance measure Academic year 2017-18 Academic year 2024-25 goal
a. Number of collaborations with the Division of Community Engagement 10 units collaborated All 17 units collaborating
b. Number of grants submitted and awarded that are in partnership with our community 29 submitted; 11 awarded 25% increase
c. Number of programs/activities that promote our collaborative programs to the community 11 units coordinated activities All 17 units coordinating activities

Goal 3: Expand VCU’s excellence in research by investing in the strengths and potential areas of growth of our students and faculty.
Key performance measure Academic year 2017-18 Academic year 2024-25 goal
a. Number of external grant submissions, number of awards and total grant funding expenditures 196 submitted, 65 awarded and $17,772,319 total grant funding expenditures 25% increase
b. Number of inter- and cross-disciplinary proposals submitted/number of proposals funded 35 submitted; 11 awarded 25% increase
c. Number of grant proposals that address our 4 research priorities (Changing American Communities; Nanomaterials for Energy and Medicine; Data Science; Mechanisms and Management of Addiction) See Table III. Grant Proposals and Awards for Research Priorities
d. Number of externally funded Summer Fellowships 18 100% increase
e. Peer-reviewed publications, books (scholarly monographs), book chapters, editorial scholarship 578 peer-reviewed publications, 22 books, 72 book chapters, 32 publications of editorial scholarship 20% increase
f. Number of scholarly contributions to the Scholarship of Teaching 15 scholarly contributions 25% increase
g. Total grant funding dollars $15,701,043 25% increase

Table III: Grant Proposals and Awards for Research Priorities
Research Priority Academic year 2017-18 Academic year 2024-25 goal
Changing American Communities (number of proposals submitted and number of awards) 20 submitted; 7 awarded 25% increase in awards
Nanomaterials for Energy and Medicine (number of proposals submitted and number of awards) 16 submitted; 7 awarded 25% increase in awards
Data Science (number of proposals submitted and number of awards) 11 submitted; 5 awarded 25% increase in awards
Mechanisms and Management of Addiction (number of proposals submitted and number of awards) 32 submitted; 10 awarded 25% increase in awards

Strategic Focus Area IV: Become a leader in integrating meaningful engagement with real-world challenges that support the development of global citizens, and maintain VCU’s Carnegie classification as a high research and high community-engaged university.

Goal 1: Enhancing community-centered and global partnerships

Initiate, continue, and maintain authentically collaborative, mutually beneficial local, state, national, and global partnerships that meet community-specified needs and College student learning outcomes.

Strategies for Success and Key Performance Measures

  1. Expand opportunities for community engagement and experiential learning for College students by working collaboratively with the Division of Community Engagement (DCE) and the Global Education Office (GEO), College leadership, faculty, and staff (see also Strategic Focus Area I).
    1. Track and report on the number of service-learning, community-engaged, and experiential-learning classes in the College.
  2. Working with the GEO, College leadership, faculty, and staff will expand opportunities for learning abroad for students (see also Strategic Focus Area I).
    1. Track and report on the number of learning abroad courses offered by the college.
  3. Expand learning abroad opportunities to be inclusive of learning opportunities within the United States. This will present a lower-cost option for out-of-Virginia learning experiences, thereby giving more students the option for experiential learning in different environments/cultures (see also Strategic Focus Area I).
    1. Track and report on the number of courses offered by the college outside of Virginia.
  4. Provide support for student expenses related to internships, education abroad, research, and so on (see also Strategic Focus Area I).
    1. Track and report the number of funding opportunities developed and provided.
    2. Track staff increases for oversight and development of these programs.
  5. Provide support for faculty to develop departmental core courses that involve experiential learning (see also SFA I: Goal 2, p. 5).
    1. Track and report the amount of support provided to faculty for experiential learning courses.
    2. Track and report the amount of support provided to faculty for the development of international partnerships, inclusive of applicable industry and non-governmental organization (NGO) partners.
Goal 2: Support for the scholarship of engagement

Initiate study, discussion, and reflection to promote and value the scholarship of engagement more fully and revise P&T guidelines as applicable to explicitly reflect community-engaged research/scholarship and experiential learning.

Strategies for Success and Key Performance Measures

  1. Clearly articulate a process for assessing community-engaged research and scholarship in annual reports and promotion and tenure review.
    1. Revise P&T guidelines so that they reflect the University’s articulated commitment in VCU Strategic Plan (Quest 2025) to promote (and value) community-engaged research and experiential learning.
    2. Recognize the time required to foster community relationships when conducting annual reviews.
Goal 3: Enhancing the impact of community engagement

Develop collaborative alignment with existing University campus initiatives (especially the DCE) that focus on meaningful engagement with real-world challenges to achieve greater impact.

Strategies for Success and Key Performance Measures

  1. Prepare faculty to lead and train students to navigate global communities, worldviews, and interconnections in personal and professional contexts.
    1. Track and report on alignment with campus initiatives and metrics from DCE, VCU, Globe, VCU Health, and Monroe Park Campus units.
    2. Seek out service opportunities for staff that meet community-identified needs and that also build cohesion within the applicable units (e.g., service days and projects).
    3. Track and report on community-engaged staff service hours; encourage use of community service leave hours for all employees.
    4. Track and report staff satisfaction with the activities and community impact.
Key performance metrics
Key performance measures for Strategic Focus Area IV are integrated within the other strategic focus areas.