Concord University Strategic Planning

From our humble beginnings in 1872 as a state normal school for teacher preparation, Concord University (CU) has grown and developed into a regional university transforming and enriching lives throughout Central Appalachia and beyond. This institutional and regional development has been accomplished through continuing excellence in teaching and learning, intellectual and creative activities, community service, and civic engagement by our faculty, staff, students, and alumni over 150 years.

When the University adopted its new strategic plan on March 17, 2020, The Way Forward 2023, the external operating environment for higher education had become significantly more disruptive and competitive. Emerging threats and opportunities were addressed in the plan, which then became effective July 1, 2020.

Before the ink was dry, COVID 19 became a Pandemic that changed, well, everything. Remote work became the norm; classes were digitized and virtual; “pivot” became the byword of the day. Did we mention everything changed? Well, not actually everything – the University’s commitment to students’ health, safety, and education remained front and center.

Concord emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic in a stronger position than it entered it in 2020 with a number of strategic initiatives successfully executed despite emergency operations, remote work, and stretched capacities. The faculty and staff performed admirably during the period, quickly developing capabilities to pivot – that word again – in order to provide student instruction and services under adverse conditions. Consequently, Concord is better aware of its capacity to rapidly adapt to changing circumstances and to continue to carry out its mission.

Although the new post-COVID world is different, our Strategic Planning Themes remain vital and vibrant:

Since beginning the journey on The Way Forward 2023, Concord has revitalized the University, which is vibrant and beginning to thrive. Now, Concord must continue to “Reinvigorate the University” and “Sustain the University”. Under these broad themes, the previously identified themes and goals remain relevant and even more, essential priorities. The top strategic goals to be achieved by 2026 include:

  1. Grow Enrollment – to increase enrollment and reverse declining enrollment trends experienced during the past decade
  2. Enhance the Student Experience – to enhance the distinctly positive Concord Experience for students
  3. Foster University Renewal – to accelerate CU’s progress from a surviving to a thriving institution
  4. Enhance Financial Self-sufficiency – to continuously improve financial self-sufficiency and decrease reliance on state allocations