Strategic Planning

Having successfully completed E2020, the previous Strategic Plan of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, Chancellor Henry and senior staff are now turning their attention to developing a new strategic plan for UVA Wise for the coming decade. A cross-campus Strategic Planning Steering Committee was formed, and their work to collect data to identify the College’s current identity, evaluate strategic options for the future, and envision the future of UVA Wise is well underway.

This strategic plan is currently under review by the UVA Wise College Board and the University’s Board of Visitors.

Progress To Date

The Strategic Planning Committee has completed the first three phases of the strategic planning process, including their work to: 

  • Develop a timeline for strategic planning work and complete initial information gathering;
  • Identify themes for the new plan, which included evolving and rewriting the Mission of the College with feedback from various stakeholders both on and off-campus as well as from the UVA Wise College Board and the Board of Visitors; and
  • Establish Strategic Pillars for the newly emerging plan. 

The New UVA Wise Mission*

Through excellence in teaching, personalized attention and commitment to individual growth, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise prepares students to be engaged citizens. Drawing upon its foundation as a public liberal arts institution in the Appalachian region of Virginia, the College strives to build a diverse community of learners with the drive to serve and lead in their communities, the nation, and the world.

*This new mission was endorsed by the UVA Wise Faculty Senate and the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia in 2020, and now awaits approval from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia. 


Public Liberal Arts Identity: We embrace our identity as a public liberal arts institution. We are inspired by the world of ideas and a diversity of perspectives. We encourage all members of our community to seek understanding beyond the boundaries of their current knowledge, to deepen understanding through critical reflection and analysis, and to share understanding through clear and persuasive communication.

Affordability and Accessibility: We believe in the transformative power of higher education for all individuals. We prioritize affordable access to an excellent, inclusive, and comprehensive college experience. We are committed to degrees that open doors to a range of careers, create economic and social mobility, forge a path to global citizenship, and serve as a conduit for a fulfilled life.

Commitment to the Individual: We value the unique contributions of all members of our community, who represent diverse populations and rich cultural heritages. We are committed to creating a culture of listening that opens minds to new perspectives and fosters the habit of reflection that deepens self-awareness. Through our actions, we seek to be engaged citizens who work for positive impact in our community.

Engagement with the Community: We respect the history and culture of our home in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. We aspire, through teaching and scholarship, to deepen our understanding of the unique characteristics of the region and to apply and share that knowledge broadly. We partner with organizations and individuals to develop strategies for health and wellness, economic growth, job opportunity, and community vitality through the arts, education, culture, sports, and recreation. We are committed to stewardship of the community’s resources and trust.

Next Steps: Planning Implementation

As the committee works to draft the new Strategic Plan, their work is transitioning to planning implementation of the Strategic Plan. The planning process (and ultimately the 10-year plan) will be inclusive and comprehensive. To that end, Chancellor Henry, Provost Trisha Folds-Bennett, and Professor Mark Clark, who also co-chairs the Committee, have spent some time mapping out coordinating chairs, who will form working groups—many composed of existing committees and offices—that will help us achieve the goals of the plan.

    View Our Strategic Pillars
    Five coordinating teams are researching and planning the next phase of how our community can be the best version of UVA Wise it can aspire to be. Please engage with their work by reviewing our strategic pillars and learning more about their great work.
    Learn About our Pivotal Projects
    At least 10 new pivotal projects have emerged from the Strategic Planning process that will be part of the best ways we can serve our students, faculty, staff, and local communities. Check them out to see where UVA Wise is placing our emphasis as we begin

    Strategic Planning Committee


    • Mark Clark, Kenneth Asbury Professor of History
    • Trisha Folds-Bennett, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs


    • John Adrian, Professor of English
    • Neva Bryan, Director of Career Discovery and Planning
    • Bruce Cahoon, Buchanan Endowed Chair of Biology
    • Anthony Cashio, Associate Professor of Philosophy
    • Chris Dearth, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management
    • Meghan Dennehy, Head Coach of Women’s Lacrosse
    • Elizabeth Dotson Shupe, Assistant Professor of Education
    • Leton Harding, Member of the UVA Wise Board
    • Joshua Justice, Dean of Students & Chief Housing Officer
    • Debbie Vanover, Staff Senate Chair
    • Mason Phillips, Student Member, Class of 2021
    • Sabrina Qureshi, Instructor in Business, Assessment/SACSCOC
    • Hannah Ryan, Assistant Professor of Music
    • Trevor Makal, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chair of Faculty Senate
    • Kendall Rainey, Director of Athletics
    • Jewell Worley, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
    • Shannon Blevins, Vice Chancellor for Administration, Government Relations and Strategic Initiatives

    Senior Advisors

    • Sim Ewing, Vice Chancellor and COO
    • Valerie Lawson, Vice Chancellor for Advancement & Alumni Engagement

    Committee Staff

    • Huda Aden, Chief of Staff for Chancellor Henry
    • Scott Bevins, Associate Provost for Information Services & CIO and Interim Department Chair of Business & Economics
    • Genna Kasun, Associate Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications