Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the essence?

The real essence and engine of Next Lives Here is getting the culture and conditions right for our change agents—students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners—to propel our forward-leaning vision of “Leading urban public universities into a new era of innovation and impact.”


What’s the difference between a strategic direction and a strategic plan?

From the start, we’ve aimed to be creative and disruptive in how we approached this entire endeavor.  Shifting the paradigm from strategic plan to strategic direction was intentional and, we believe, inventive.  In doing so, we’re claiming that our core responsibility is to prepare for the future, not predict it.  A forward-leaning vision, activated by a nimble and flexible framework, will empower us to adapt to timely opportunities and challenges.  Above all, our campus community deserves a clear strategic direction that guides our impact, not an unwieldy plan that sits on the shelf gathering dust.  


What’s the structure?

Next Lives Here is comprised of three platforms and nine pathways—each of which is designed to enrich and reinforce the others.  In fact, we believe the biggest breakthroughs are likely to occur at the intersections of these pathways.  At the highest level, we’re striving to create a mature ecosystem for innovation, inclusion and impact.    


What’s the end point?

Next Lives Here is a 10-year strategic direction purposefully designed to position the University for long-term, sustained success that sets us apart.


What’s the timeline for implementation?

Some pathways will be operational by the end of the semester—such as the 1819 Innovation Hub and the Staff Success Center.  Other pathways will be fully built out over the next several months—with the goal of getting more stakeholders engaged in the development and implementation.


What did the development process entail?

The development process was accelerated and inclusive.  Whereas most institutions spend 15-24 months to develop a strategic plan, UC crafted a strategic direction within eight months.  The process included nearly a dozen input sessions with various stakeholder groups.  Additionally, we completed open town hall forums at each of our respective campuses.  A website dedicated to the planning process collected real-time insights and input from the campus community.  In the end, we believe the collaborative process produced a shared vision that will unify our campus community.   


How much will be invested?

Although we’re still in the early stages of this effort, we expect the total investment to be greater than $150 million over the next several years.


How will it be funded?

It will take creative thinking and multiple strategies for us to build the necessary resource base.  Some of these funding strategies will include administrative efficiencies, philanthropy, corporate partnerships and strategic sizing, among other things.  It is worth underscoring that building the resource base and making these targeted investments will take place over multiple years.


Will there be success metrics?

Yes, as we determine the specific contours of each pathway, there will be a corresponding set of key performance indicators that measure progress and guide future investments.


How can I learn more?

We’ve created a dedicated website for Next Lives Here at


How do I get engaged?

To unlock our mission and unleash our vision, we’ll need a constant flow of ideas, insights and input from you and the broader community.  To learn of the multiple ways to advance this effort, please visit the website at