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Furman launches strategic plan with focus on innovation, community, sustainability

The Furman University Bell Tower.

Last updated May 13, 2024

By Tom Evelyn, Vice President for University Communications

Furman University has launched a five-year strategic plan to strengthen its position as a university of innovation and impact, foster a thriving community, and ensure a sustainable future, President Elizabeth Davis announced today.

The “FUture Focused” strategic plan will guide Furman and its faculty and staff through 2029. Recognized nationally for The Furman Advantage and other transformative academic programs, the liberal arts and sciences university will expand and enhance its focus on providing world-class opportunities to every student, strengthen its dedication to a student-focused academic experience and deepen its community impact.

“Our strategic plan is our commitment to elevating excellence, innovation, and the holistic development of our students and our community,” Davis said.

“From pioneering engaged learning to inventing The Furman Advantage to creating four community-focused institutes, our efforts have placed Furman among the finest liberal arts and sciences universities in America. Our faculty and staff continually demonstrate an ethos of innovation and a commitment to improving society. This dedication is clearly apparent in the success of our students and alumni,” she added.

The “FUture Focused” strategic plan outlines a roadmap for continued excellence, innovation and community impact, prioritizing individualized and innovative learning, a thriving community, and a sustainable future through three pillars:

Priority One: University of Innovation and Impact

Position Furman as a premier liberal arts and sciences university recognized for delivering a high-value, individualized learning experience through the teacher-scholar model, a culture of innovation, and thought leadership.

Priority Two: Thriving Community

Cultivate a vibrant, interconnected community where students, faculty, and staff flourish, engagement thrives, and wellbeing is prioritized.

Priority Three: Sustainable Future

Foster a dynamic and sustainable future as we enter our third century (which begins in 2026).

The Furman Board of Trustees unanimously approved the “FUture Focused” strategic plan during its spring meeting, which concluded Saturday. The Furman faculty endorsed the plan in April.

The planning process started in February 2023 with a “Community Day” workshop that brought faculty and staff together to share ideas and establish priorities for the plan. A Strategic Planning Team, co-led by Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Beth Pontari and Vice President for Student Life Connie Carson, included a cross-section of faculty and staff who created the plan between October and December 2023. The team incorporated additional feedback in February and March from trustees and the campus community.

Working groups will convene and begin to operationalize the plan this summer.

Furman has been recognized as a “Most Innovative School” by U.S. News & World Report nearly every year since launching The Furman Advantage, a four-year academic pathway that weaves together classroom and experiential learning, mentoring and advising, reflection, and career preparation. The underlying Pathways Program, a first-in-the-nation two-year advising program, prepares students to succeed in college and take full advantage of all that Furman offers.

Learn more and view the full strategic plan here.

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