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About the Initiative

About the Initiative

At the beginning of academic year 2012, UC launched UC2019 with this vision:

We commit the University of Cincinnati to becoming a first‐choice destination for students, patients, faculty and staff. Excellence pervades our research, learning, campus, collaborations, opportunities, athletics, support, health care and diversity. We stand ready to accomplish a transformation that achieves prominence.

  • We will measure our success against the elite set of peers represented by the Association of American Universities and the Top American Research Universities
  • We will prioritize and target resources on those areas in which we excel

The quality and breadth of doctoral education most directly defines the prominence of a research university. Our pursuit of the UC2019 vision must therefore necessarily include a robust strategy for advancing this important segment of our educational offerings. 

UC2019►:  Strategy for Excellence in Doctoral Education

With this vision, the Dean of the Graduate School developed the UC2019►: Strategy for Excellence in Doctoral Education. This strategy will identify those areas in which we need to focus resources, including faculty and graduate student aid, to attain the UC2019 vision. 

All 52 research‐based doctoral programs at the university have been included in this 6-Phase Process for developing the UC2019►:  Strategy for Excellence in Doctoral Education. Input was sought from these programs on their vision, strategy, and position for supporting UC2019 (see Phase 1 for details). This input was then reviewed by:

  • the dean of the college in which the program is housed (Phase 2)
  • external faculty evaluators (Phase 3)
  • elected panels of UC graduate faculty (Phase 4)
  • University Graduate Dean (Phase 5)

The Provost will then conduct a comprehensive review (Phase 6) of all background materials and data points and make a decision on which doctoral programs will be enhanced, maintained or reorganized.


Throughout each phase, the programs were measured against a common set of Assessment Criteria benchmarked to the UC2019 Operational Principles. This 6-Phase process was designed to capitalize on the data-driven nature of the Historical Resources that are captured regularly by the Graduate School for each doctoral program.


Graduate Program Directors and Department Heads, in conjunction with the graduate faculty in each doctoral program, were provided multiple opportunities throughout the process to provide comments related to each assessment (see feedback opportunities described in the 6-Phase Process). This feedback has been maintained on the Blackboard Community Site and has remained available throughout the review process.  


Graduate faculty were directly involved in the design and implementation of this process. The Dean of the Graduate School met multiple times with different bodies of graduate faculty members to ensure this inclusivity.  For example, in January and February of 2011, the Graduate Council, an elected body of graduate faculty members representing each graduate college, provided feedback to the Dean of the Graduate School.  Alternatives in the design of this process were also discussed.  As a result, this process became a standing agenda item during Graduate Council meetings, whereby status updates and discussions took place regularly. 

Also, in June of 2011, this 6-Phase Process was presented to all graduate faculty at the annual Graduate Faculty meeting.  Feedback from this meeting was implemented into the process to ensure that the UC2019►:  Strategy for Excellence in Doctoral Education is a faculty-driven process.

For more information on the graduate faculty members and governance bodies that contributed to the design and implementation the UC2019►: Strategy for Excellence in Doctoral Education, please visit the following link: Governance.


At each phase of this process, the results have been transparent.  To support maximum transparency, the Graduate School developed a Blackboard Community Site to host all of the historical resources that were used throughout the review process, as well as all of the strategy documents that were obtained at each phase of the process.  This website acted as a centralized location for Graduate Faculty from each program to receive real-time results and obtain pertinent information about the overall review process.


For questions regarding this process, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.  If you have additional questions, please contact the Graduate School and Provost Office directly using the following link: Feedback.