You are here

Strategic Plans

UMD Strategic Plan: 2017-2021
Approved by Chancellor Black December 4, 2017

Mission Statement

The University of Minnesota Duluth integrates liberal education, research, creative activity, and public engagement and prepares students to thrive as lifelong learners and globally engaged citizens.


The University of Minnesota Duluth is an outstanding student-centered, undergraduate-focused institution of higher education, defined by its commitment to student access and promoting exceptional outcomes for our graduates. As a land-grant and sea-grant university, UMD achieves its mission through vibrant and high-quality academic and co-curricular programs; impactful research, scholarship, and creative activities; and service and engagement beyond the confines of the campus. The university’s diverse and high-quality faculty and staff are committed to students’ academic achievement, personal development and well-being, and life-long career goals.

UMD leverages its location in Northeast Minnesota and on Lake Superior to its best advantage and the faculty, staff, and students intentionally engage surrounding communities, the region, and the state to make a positive difference. UMD contributes to economic, cultural, social, and environmental sustainability and the development of resilient communities in the Northland and beyond. We serve the educational needs of indigenous peoples, their economic growth, their culture, and the sovereignty of the American Indian nations of the region, the state, and North America. UMD is a diverse community of scholars and learners who embrace our long-standing connections to the region also looking toward a future that will be even more diverse and global.


By 2022, UMD will have a focused identity that appropriately demonstrates the university’s distinctive strengths and makes clear the university’s high research achievements not common among our peers. UMD will tell our story which will evolve beyond being a “regional comprehensive university” to establishing a purpose and framework for propelling the institution forward and enhancing its regional and even international reputation and presence.

UMD will be innovative in pursuing a dynamic future that allows the university to successfully confront evolving challenges and opportunities. UMD will develop an array of undergraduate and graduate academic programs that capitalize on our excellence and impact, as well as our scholarly strengths and external partnerships.

UMD will balance its investment in facilities, programs, and people with a need to keep higher education accessible and affordable. In this way UMD will serve as a platform for success and achievement beyond graduation for students from all walks of life. By accomplishing this vision UMD assures that Minnesota has the best talent to meet our future economic, environmental, and social challenges.

Core Values

Preface: UMD is a community of learners and scholars that promotes student success, provides an enriching experience, and is committed to core values that shape the university and its purpose.

Learning. We analyze, solve problems, improve processes, and develop new ways of creating, working, and being.

Discovery. We discover, create, and share knowledge. 

Engagement. We actively collaborate with each other and the larger community to identify and achieve common goals.

Inclusiveness. We respect and embrace the diversity of individuals, perspectives, and ideas and promote social justice.

Sustainability. We balance current environmental, economic, and social needs with those of future generations.

Innovation. We are an evidence-based and forward-thinking institution that is capable of adjusting to changing demands on the university.

Integrity. We adhere to the highest ethical standards and take responsibility for our ideas and actions.

Excellence. We achieve excellence through creativity, continuous improvement, and innovation.


Goal 1: Provide student-centered, high-quality curricular, co-curricular, and integrated living-learning undergraduate experiences focused on serving the Northland, Minnesota, the Midwest, and connecting to the world.

Goal 2: Advance equity, diversity, inclusiveness, and social justice within the campus community.

Goal 3: Deliver high-quality graduate-degree programs to foster students’ advanced academic and professional development.

Goal 4: Advance UMD’s regional, national, and international reputation for high-quality and impactful research, scholarly, and creative activities.

Goal 5: Advance UMD’s profile as an intentional and pivotal partner for Duluth, the Northland, and Minnesota.

Goal 6: Establish and maintain effective and sustainable operations across all areas of the institution.