A grid of photos depicting the Weinstein International Center courtyard with students, Tyler Haynes Commons at night with illuminated banners reflecting in the lake, two women and small children at an alumni event, Linda Hobgood teaching a class, and the lake and gazebo.

Strategic Plan

Our next move

The university's new strategic plan heightens UR’S distinctive strengths and embraces UR's most promising opportunities.

At its April meeting, the University of Richmond’s board of trustees adopted an ambitious framework for the university’s development in the coming years. Called “A Plan for Richmond,” it outlines five “guiding lights” that position the university to continue our upward trajectory. In a spring message introducing the plan, President Kevin F. Hallock called it “a road map forward” to “inspire our community and guide our future direction.”

The impact of a strategic plan is, by design, both immediate and generational. Planning helps the university advance its mission and invest in becoming an even better learning community. A recent $25 million gift from Carole and Marcus Weinstein to establish a new learning center (see Page 8) is a great example of this dynamic. This support makes possible a transformative step forward in our longstanding commitment to academic excellence, the first of the plan’s guiding lights. Momentum for all five of the guiding lights is strong.

The plan is also an invitation. It offers possibilities for everyone in the Spider community to participate and help. As the introduction states: “With the ongoing support and participation of our university community, by raising new gifts, and by strategically deploying effort and resources toward our comparative advantages and five areas of opportunity — our guiding lights — we can build on our momentum and propel our already remarkable university to even greater heights.”

The following sections offer an overview of the plan and highlight UR’s vision for an even brighter future. The full plan is available at strategicplan.richmond.edu.

Academic Excellence

We’re continuing to invest in our exceptional faculty, remarkable students, and world-class culture of mentoring.

Background: For decades, one of Richmond’s core strengths has been its all-in commitment to students. Here, our faculty, curriculum, and ambitions combine to create a distinctive culture of possibility. We encourage and enable broad exploration and deep discovery, while equipping our remarkable students to define their educational journeys. We offer extensive student support services that ensure personalized attention to every 
Spider. Our size is our strength.

One characteristic that truly sets Richmond apart is how deeply we embrace and embody the teacher-scholar model for learning. As the plan states, “Our world-class faculty are world-class mentors.” Richmond’s stellar faculty choose to pursue their careers here because they love teaching and bringing students into their labs, research projects, and creative productions as partners in inquiry and creation.

The plan puts this guiding light first among equals to ensure that Richmond “will be the premier destination and home for outstanding students, staff, and teacher-
scholars” into the future. 


  • Expand the size of our faculty to strengthen our intellectual community, scholarship, and academic offerings and to ensure we can continue to provide the faculty-student engagement so vital to the Richmond experience.
  • Continue to recruit outstanding students and provide them with robust, best-in-class academic resources.
  • Retain world-class faculty and expand support for teaching, mentoring, scholarship, and creative production.

Belonging & Community

We’re working to ensure that all Spiders feel a sense of belonging in our web and can fully and authentically participate in university life.

Background: We have made substantial strides toward becoming a relentlessly welcoming community. Yet, we have more work to do to ensure that every member of the community feels — and is — seen, heard, and valued and has someone they can look to for support.

Our commitment is evident in the ways we work alongside our fellow Spiders, in the ways our professors are invested in students as people, and in the extraordinary quality of individual mentorship available to students. As part of this commitment, we believe in the importance of thoughtful engagement across a broad diversity of perspectives and experiences.

We aspire for students to develop lifelong connections throughout the Spider community. When Spiders support Spiders today — whether through philanthropy, volunteerism, or in other ways — chances are a deep sense of community and belonging, forged at Richmond, is at the root of their choice.

We want every Spider to embrace and be embraced by the transformative power of our community.


  • Recruit, retain, and support a diverse, talented university community.
  • Expand opportunities for all members of the university community to participate in and feel a part of our community.
  • Develop opportunities for Spiders to engage across and be exposed to a variety of experiences and perspectives.
  • Enhance support for Spider athletics and university recreation.

Access & Affordability

We’re knocking down even more financial barriers to ensure that every Spider can afford to come here and has the support they need.

Background: Richmond’s financial aid policies and resources position it as a leader in higher education. Generations of generosity and careful stewardship have supported ongoing, increased investments in financial aid. We are one of the few institutions that embraces admissions for traditional undergraduates without knowing their financial circumstances and then meets their full demonstrated financial need. Once students are on campus, we ensure that they have the necessary resources through signature programs, such as the Richmond Guarantee, which supports summer internships and research opportunities for students.

These successes are an exceptional foundation for making Richmond even more accessible and more affordable for more Spiders so that all students can make the most of their Richmond experience. To retain our leadership, we need to further our commitment. 


  • Increase resources for financial aid, particularly for students from middle-income families, while continuing to provide increasingly generous scholarships for all students who demonstrate need.
  • Simplify our financial aid system so prospective students and their families can more easily understand how affordable a University of Richmond education is.
  • Ensure that students take full advantage of our many opportunities and that financial background does not create barriers to engaging in university life.


We are developing a community of care that will make Richmond a leader in well-being in higher education.

Background: In 2021, the university dedicated a gorgeous new Well-Being Center. The facility brought together campus health care under one roof and added amenities that take an upstream approach to exercise, nutrition, mindfulness, sleep, and self-care — preventing problems before they develop and promoting health holistically. The Student Health Center and Counseling and Psychological Services offer free office visits, and CAPS has responded to students’ needs by implementing same-day intake, eliminating its waiting list, and building a diverse and inclusive staff. These changes are highly visible examples of the university’s total commitment to our students. But there is still more we can be doing.

The university aspires to be a leader in well-being among institutions of higher education. Our next step is building upon these investments to integrate the many dimensions of well-being throughout the University of Richmond experience. We must also ensure that Spiders are aware of these resources and can easily access them. 


  • Integrate well-being more fully into the University of Richmond experience.
  • Expand students’ access to well-being resources, particularly services provided by Student Health and CAPS.
  • Enhance and support staff and faculty well-being.

Experiential Learning & Community Engagement

We’re making these pathways to learning a hallmark of the Spider ethos and experience.

Background: If you scan a list of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges and universities, a striking comparative advantage of the University of Richmond is hiding in plain sight, right there in the name: Richmond. Our location in the greater Richmond region makes us unique among our peers and enhances the Spider experience.

We are fortunate to be embedded in a diverse and interesting region filled with businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, and a dynamic arts and culture scene.

Our location provides countless pathways for applied learning and real-world connections — inside and outside the classroom, on campus and off campus, in our area and throughout the world. We are simultaneously a tight-knit campus community, a connected regional community, and global citizens.
Why does it matter? Through high-impact, experiential learning opportunities, Spiders develop the intellectual and practical skills to pursue their passions and interests. Through local and global connections and mentorship opportunities, they have support for exploration and a launchpad for fulfilling careers. With this plan, we’re striving for even more meaningful engagement at all levels. 


  • Ensure students have access to — and we have the infrastructure for — high-impact learning opportunities.
  • Enhance our career services and strive to make them best-in-class.
  • Invest in pathways to connect Spiders with skills and experiences that prepare them for careers and lives of purpose.
  • Strengthen meaningful opportunities for engagement with our city, the region, and the world that enhance our mission.