University of Montana - Missoula Strategic Goals

The planning context for the University of Montana is framed by the Montana Board of Regents Strategic Plan. The UM Strategic Plan is also known as Core Themes.  It is updated annually and its progress is continuously monitored through the compilation and analysis of key outcomes data.

The following five strategic issues form the foundation of the new UM Strategic Plan. The degree to which the University of Montana attends and adheres to these goals will ultimately determine its continued success and value.


The University will help its students succeed academically and personally so they graduate well-prepared for their careers or further education. The Partnering for Student Success plan identifies six key objectives critical to student success and sets forth actions to promote a successful first year for entering freshmen and to address the needs of returning students. UM seeks to improve students’ success by addressing their preparedness for college-level work, improving their transition to college, providing an integrated early curriculum, increasing student engagement and support, and emphasizing faculty and staff development. As part of the plan, UM created the Office for Student Success, which is charged with developing, implementing, and coordinating initiatives to increase students’ persistence toward graduation.


UM will offer an educational experience at all degree levels that provides graduates the foundation to make positive impacts on a world that is increasingly interconnected. The University’s Academic Strategic Plan, endorsed by the Faculty Senate in 2009, identified the need to create a gateway-to-discovery experience focused on the challenges of the global century for all incoming students at each level of postsecondary education. At the same time, the University recognizes the need to support and strengthen foundational academic programs. For all students, curricula will focus on producing workers and leaders who make a difference in the cultural and economic fabric of Montana and the world.


The University will transform discovery and creativity into knowledge, applications and experiences in ways that benefit the state, region, nation and world. Scholarship, research, and creative work are central to the lives of faculty, students, and staff, and to academic programming at the University of Montana. Therefore, UM supports research, scholarship, and creative work across the natural and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, arts, and humanities, and works to enhance opportunities for interdisciplinary connections. By fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in the community of research and technology, UM transforms discovery into application.


UM will enhance its character as a place where people are passionate about learning, discovery and growth. The University of Montana is consistently recognized as one of the most attractive and enticing campuses in the nation. Community and campus engagement literally means that the lives of the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University are centered on the campus. Examples range from sold-out athletic events that feature perennial championship teams, to galleries, campus theaters, and arenas filled to capacity for performances featuring local and world famous artists. UM builds a vibrant and dynamic learning environment, where the natural surroundings are integrated into the curriculum.


The University will model transparency, systematic communication and sound decision-making to ensure that resources are marshaled to achieve UM’s mission. The Planning-Assessment Continuum characterizes a cultural orientation of the University of Montana designed to facilitate desired outcomes, clarify the University’s vision and mission, and communicate and demonstrate to internal and external stakeholders that the University is making the best use of its resources. Executive leadership provides communication of mission and vision, clear and consistent processes, overarching mission-driven goals, equitably applied parameters, and rules enforcement, while faculty, staff, and students provide ideas, process improvements, work, action, and other vital contributions to the direction of the University.