Strategic Planning

A Strategic Plan to Advance the College and Graduate School

The mission of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at Boston University is to nurture the discovery, creation, transmission, and application of knowledge and understanding across the humanities and the social, natural, and computational sciences. This mission guides both our long-term strategy and our day-to-day work in the areas of undergraduate and graduate education and academic research.

For over 18 months, the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at Boston University has been undergoing a strategic planning process for the upcoming decade (2021–2030). The strategic plan will guide the College’s evolution over the next five to ten years, developing in parallel to the University’s 2030 Strategic Plan and in consultation with faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

It has been a demanding process to consider these questions about our future, especially while addressing the unique daily challenges that the pandemic has brought. However, the opportunity to look forward and debate the vibrant future for Arts & Sciences has been invigorating and inspiring. It is a testament to our community that everyone has been eager to participate in this process.

The process began in January 2020, when the Dean’s Office staff came together for a retreat to share the needs and priorities for students, faculty, and staff and discuss initial priorities and feedback about the broad Arts & Sciences mission. Then four task forces representing the four divisions of the College (humanities, mathematical & computational sciences, social sciences, natural sciences) formed to discuss and craft recommendations for the future of research, academics, and education at the College, alongside a series of activities that were undertaken to solicit community input on needs related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This was done through the formation of a Diversity and Inclusion Action Team, as well as listening sessions with student groups and a dedicated meeting of the Chairs and Directors with student leaders. Additionally, input on the Graduate School’s needs and priorities was sought through department listening sessions held by the new Associate Dean for the Graduate School and via feedback solicited from the Graduate Academic Affairs Council (GAAC). 

As the task forces completed their work in Spring 2021, a Steering Committee was formed to help integrate their findings and recommendations. This Steering Committee consisted of the senior leadership team for Arts & Sciences, the Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations, and the four task force chairs. In addition to collaborating to consolidate the themes and initiatives proposed by the task forces, the Steering Committee prepared a draft of a revised mission statement for Arts & Sciences and developed strategy papers for diversity, equity, inclusion, and community. Progress on all of these activities, along with the work of the task forces, was shared simultaneously with the Dean’s Advisory Board, the Council of Chairs and Directors, and the Arts & Sciences faculty and broader community.

The plan builds on the tremendous achievements of Arts & Sciences, articulates the priorities the community has today and for the future, and gives the College a common purpose and direction for the next ten years. Our vision is anchored in how we work together as a community—pursuing interdisciplinary research, creating student networks of connection and opportunity, and productive partnerships with our Boston community and across the globe. In looking forward and finalizing the plan, the College is embracing its distinctive approach to research and education that positions graduates to be agile thinkers, skilled communicators, and imaginative problem solvers.  

We are pleased to announce that the Arts & Sciences Strategic Plan is now complete. You can read the full Plan here.