UC Launches Next Lives Here Strategic Direction

It’s not just a strategic direction . It’s a mindset. It’s a future-leaning vision of leading urban public universities into a new era of innovation and impact.

 The University of Cincinnati kicked off the implementation of its new strategic direction - Next Lives Here - at its Board of Trustees meeting today.  

While higher education institutions traditionally pursue a strategic plan over a 12-24 month period and hire consultants to facilitate the process, President Neville Pinto led the university over the course of eight months toward a different paradigm: a strategic direction.

In the months leading up to the launch, President Pinto met with nearly a dozen stakeholder groups and held four open input sessions campus wide in an accelerated, inclusive and unifying process.

“Change itself is changing,” said Pinto. It is moving “faster and farther than ever before.” 

Given this new reality, “I think we have a subtle but significant choice “lead by design or follow by default.  And for UC, I want us to lead by design,” he continued.

Next Lives Here is intended to be nimble and flexible to adapt to the speedier way innovation now happens. 

“Our strategic direction is not a one and done approach. We want to spark more ideas as we move forward,” said the president, who marks his first anniversary as UC’s president on the same day of the launch.

The agile framework of the new direction aims to create a university culture of innovation to redefine learning as well as break boundaries, both locally and globally.

UC will continue to develop the strategic direction in the coming months and over the course of 10 years. It identifies three major platforms: Academic Excellence, Urban Impact and Innovation Agenda.

 Nine pathways focus on:

  • Bearcat Promise – a pledge that students will graduate with a clear focus on cultivating their ideal future.
  • Faculty Investment – investing in a new one-stop enrichment center for faculty and in the size, stature and success of UC faculty.
  • Staff Enrichment – creating a Staff Success Center and establishing a Staff Council to engage employees more deeply in the university’s mission and vision.
  • Urban Futures – leveraging the university’s research and educational capacity for enhancing engagement and impact in the urban future, both locally and globally.
  • Urban Health – solving urban issues related to health and well-being, prevention, quality care, finding cures, and creating equality in access and talent development.
  • CPS Strong – a commitment to increase significantly the number of UC graduates from Cincinnati Public School.
  • 1819 Innovation Hub – a new center of innovation at UC to serve as the region’s destination for disruptive thinking, making, doing, discovery and delivery.
  • Co-op 2.0 – pioneering the cooperative education approach that UC founded in 1906 for a 21st century paradigm.
  • Inclusive Excellence – activating inclusion across all platforms and pathways to be ever more innovative and impactful.

Following a presentation by President Pinto introducing the new strategic direction, UC's trustees unanimously passed a resolution supporting Next Lives Here. For continuing updates, see the strategic direction website.