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Pacific Rising

Adopted by the Board of Regents April 27, 2007

Values and Aspirations

University of the Pacific has a long tradition of innovation and educational excellence. Pacific is unique in higher education given our wide range of high quality programs and varied disciplines across nine colleges and schools in a smaller, more personal environment. The distinctive learning opportunities that this provides will form a base on which we grow our reputation. To aid this, the University continually engages in dynamic planning and periodically generates a document to reaffirm the mission, refresh the vision and map out strategic directions. This document reflects the shared work of the University community and articulates our mission, core values, aspirations and commitments. We, the Pacific community, believe that this vision will create a harmony of purpose for all University members and guide our collective efforts.

University of the Pacific’s mission is to provide a superior, student-centered learning experience integrating liberal arts and professional education and preparing individuals for lasting achievement and responsible leadership in their careers and communities.

Pacific’s mission is realized through the following CORE VALUES. They are behind everything we do and cannot be compromised. They are stated to be inclusive of the entire University community from undergraduate to graduate and professional students, from staff to faculty, from alumni to friends. Passion for teaching and learning - We share enthusiasm for discovery; our active pursuit of scholarship, creative expression and new perspectives enlivens learning. Meaningful and measurable learning remains preeminent to teaching. Learner focus - Our environment is inspired by the needs of the learner as we create rigorous experiences that respond to individuals’ strengths and interests. We ensure that students are at the center of our work; everything we do focuses on developing their full potential. Relationship-based learning - We foster meaningful relationships through close interaction among learners and teachers to create powerful learning. Whole person education - We are concerned with all aspects of growth and development, seek the integration of curricular, co-curricular and post-curricular activities, and take pride in our accomplishments. Responsible leadership - We develop leaders who effect positive change. Through diverse learning experiences, we cultivate the knowledge and skills to become ethical leaders in career and community and to understand the economic, social and environmental impacts of our efforts. Community engagement - We have a deep consciousness of the world around us, and as a part of a multitude of communities, join together with them to serve and to learn. These partnerships create a synergy which raises the achievements of both the communities and the University.

As FOUNDATIONS to our work, the following underlie Pacific’s success. We cannot exist without them, but they are not why we exist.

Financial stability allows Pacific to invest in excellence and integrity allows us to act with honor and virtue. Our safe and beautiful campuses provide attractive environments for learning. We are a community based on mutual respect that treats each individual with dignity and appreciates the contributions of each member. We foster relationships among faculty, staff, and students as shared governance strengthens institutional decisions. We use the processes of program review and accreditation to strengthen programs and to learn more about how best to teach, learn and provide services. Through accountability and assessment we seek to understand the effects of our actions, seek improvements and share the results with our constituents and communities. The application of technologies allows us to improve our processes, maintain integrity in University records, communicate more fully and enhance the learning environment.

Pacific, where innovation is tradition…. While never wavering from our traditions and core values, we know that ASPIRATIONS help us articulate our vision for the future. These aspirations will guide students, staff, faculty and alumni as we strive for excellence.

We aspire to broaden our culture of innovation, exploration and creativity. Complex problems often require multidisciplinary approaches to solutions and collaborative learning will bring together our teacher/scholars and students from different disciplines to find meaningful answers. We will support our teacher/scholar community so our vibrant scholars, researchers and artists continue to bring distinction to themselves and the University. We will more fully integrate liberal and professional learning and will balance skills, knowledge, integrity, ethics, vocation and avocation in the curricula and learning experiences. We will be increasingly service-centered. The creation of a user-friendly environment with transparent and efficient services, systems and technologies will give learners increased time to focus on the pursuit of knowledge as well as academic and social development. We aspire to be more fully engaged with the changing world and will broaden and strengthen connections to Pacific. We will advance sustainability through learning, practice and collaboration with local communities by considering our environmental, social and economic impact. Because practice invigorates learning, students will apply their knowledge through an enhanced and more diverse set of experiential learning opportunities. We will reinforce learning as a lifelong process and will augment professional learning opportunities and nurture partnerships with alumni. We will pursue diversity to transform and enliven our community, curricula, programs and policies. We aspire to prepare leaders who understand, affirm and utilize their global orientation to fulfill our obligation to intercultural understanding in our interdependent world.

Commitments and Strategic Directions

We live our mission and values. We are dedicated to realizing our aspirations. A vision of innovation, of collaboration, and of making the most of the distinctive richness of our many disciplines brought alive in smaller, more personal learning communities emerges from our aspirations and commitments. The following six COMMITMENTS guide our planning, decisions and resource allocation and will earn us a national and global reputation. Each Commitment includes a narrative that elaborates the context in which Pacific exists, as well as twenty STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS that further give clarity to Pacific’s pursuits through 2015. Pacific Rising is accompanied by a Strategic Action Plan that identifies tactics, actions and accountability across the 20 Strategic Directions.


Pacific has a rich tradition of innovation. Today, in a world compressed by communications, mobility, interdependence and an unprecedented pace of change, Pacific must be even more creative, adaptable and innovative. Major universities must be responsive to the global environment, especially in academic programs. Systematic investment in innovation is required to maintain our competitiveness over time because innovation requires dynamic adaptability to change. Graduates will become more effective professionals and leaders through an innovative university culture.

1. Expand innovation in academic programs through an ongoing innovation process, support to pedagogy and research and new education and service delivery models.

2. Enhance University administrative programs and services through innovation and creativity by targeting fundraising, increasing incentives and improving services and programs.


In recent years, Pacific has emphasized the value of distinctive programs as a means of differentiating from competitor institutions. Pacific has many distinctive features that demonstrate excellence with uncommonness, but most institutions now lay claim to the label. New combinations are needed. Pacific’s best opportunities for distinctiveness may lie in the combination of innovation and collaboration in the context of traditional strengths. Talented students are drawn to programs that set Pacific apart.

3. Strengthen current and develop new academic programs of distinction through investment in existing programs, national stature for the first-professional schools and new academic hallmarks.

4. Advance faculty teaching, scholarship and research by expanding faculty development and increasing resources for scholarship and research.

5. Pursue University-wide marks of distinction, specifically in leadership development, experiential learning, international programs and student achievement.


Traditional disciplines are increasingly extended across most fields of study and professional programs, which requires Pacific to foster joint programs that exploit our advantage of nine schools—far more than most universities of modest size. Global trends in commerce, service and the creation of knowledge demonstrate that innovation typically occurs at the intersections of disciplines and fields. Students respond: significant growth is occurring in new blended programs like bioengineering. Each of the initial academic innovation initiatives involves several schools or programs.

6. Advance integrated, multidisciplinary experiences for undergraduates through a first-year experience, new accelerated programs and three-campus, three-city opportunities.

7. Strengthen the liberal arts and sciences core through General Education, improved student writing, and better integrated liberal arts and sciences with professional education.

8. Leverage collaboration for innovative learning experiences by expanding three-campus programs, establishing highly customized graduate/professional programs and supporting collaborative scholarship, research and creative activity.


Professions increasingly require what few comprehensive universities can provide: Pacific’s emphasis on whole person development that is learner-centered, nurtured by campus community life, practice-based and provides for ethical leadership development combining liberal and professional studies. Professions, impacted by global change, require graduates with broad learning amid diverse environments that build cross-cultural competence.

9. Make experiential learning a hallmark by achieving 100% student participation, increasing international experiential learning, advancing undergraduate research, strengthening the residential learning community and increasing study abroad.

10. Create distinctive citizen-leader development programs through service learning and volunteerism, a framework for leadership development based on emotional-social intelligence (ESI), lifelong learning and lasting relationships with the University.

11. Cultivate diversity, intercultural competence and global responsibility by ensuring student competencies, making diversity an integral part of curricula and student life, creating a more diverse student body, maintaining the "Diversity Hiring Plan for Faculty," increasing faculty and staff ethnic diversity and increasing training.

12. Strengthen wellness, recreation and athletic programs by increased participation in intramural, recreation and active club programs and intercollegiate prominence.


Alumni are Pacific’s strongest asset for student recruitment, for opening new learning opportunities for students and for strong placement of graduates. Great universities are also great neighbors; community partnerships create opportunities for students as alumni do. In addition, Pacific’s rising prominence requires that we provide leadership to address regional needs. In a global context, Pacific will link local-regional partnerships with national-international partners in teaching, research and service. The University must market itself broadly with specific focus on institutional strengths and distinctiveness.

13. Increase support to the region and connect our strongest initiatives with national and global partnerships through specific regional programs and new partnerships in the Pacific Rim and the Americas.

14. Collaborate with alumni, parents and friends to connect them to students and programs by fostering alumni leadership, establishing new alumni and parent programs and engaging alumni in student recruitment, internships and placement.

15. Invest in marketing initiatives that build partnerships and elevate institutional visibility by building marketing capacities, expanding relationships with media outlets and achieving greater national visibility.


Pacific’s higher education environment will intensify in the years ahead as the trajectory of numbers of college-bound high school graduates plateaus, as competitor universities threaten our market share and as for-profit entities provide more attractive options. Keys to our continued success include balanced enrollment with modest growth based on competitive tuition levels through attractive programs (some non-degree), strengthened marketing, increased attention to service, increased alumni engagement, improved fundraising success and continued investment growth.

16. Strengthen enrollment to improve student quality, selection and geographic diversity
by implementing a broader selection processes, improving freshman selectivity, maintaining access, ensuring enrollment stability in the first-professional schools, and modestly increasing undergraduate and graduate enrollment.

17. Recruit, hire, develop and retain excellent faculty and staff through competitive compensation; rewards for innovation, leadership and service; and expanding training, professional development and wellness services.

18. Improve and center services on students, faculty, staff and external clients by aligning administrative systems to support innovation, cross-divisional coordination and customer-centric service; enhancing technical systems and business processes; and better integrating University and unit planning.

19. Build financial capacity through fundraising, investment and budget management, and appropriate tuition-setting with specific focus on conducting an aggressive fundraising campaign, increasing alumni giving, improving accountability to donors, achieving a bond rating of 1A and setting appropriate tuition.

20. Optimize master planning to develop facilities that enhance student learning, support institutional priorities, and enhance campus beauty through completing existing projects, reducing deferred maintenance, planning for new facilities, building new Stockton Campus residential halls and expanding interactive learning and communication technologies.

Integrated and Dynamic Planning

This plan must be dynamic to be sustained through 2015. While the Commitments should be relatively stable through the planning period with minimal change, the Strategic Direction statements should be periodically reviewed by the Institutional Priorities Committee with recommendations for revisions forwarded to the President. An accompanying Strategic Action Plan outlines goals, tactics and actions for each of the twenty strategic directions that will show a high degree of change as achievements occur and as the institution responds to a changing environment. As a mark of highly integrated planning, these tactics and actions find their source in the plans of the units and divisions of the University. The units align their strategic and tactical plans as they accomplish the strategies outlined in this plan. Through annual planning, assessment and program review, the units note accomplishments and propose new University Goals. Collaborative strategies are proposed by the University planning bodies and are assigned across units and divisions. The Strategic Action Plans include metrics and milestones and identify accountable individuals and groups.