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Like our students, we dream BIG

We are fearlessly declaring our future and building upon our strong foundation to reach new heights that few dare to consider. Rather than rest on our past achievements, we are setting a brave new pace for these next five years. With this plan as our guiding light, we will move forward with purpose and resolve. Together, we will amplify our voices and focus our attention on the important work in our ambitious goals – shaped by our shared values and inspired by our new mission – because our region and our world need us. They need our steadfast commitment, our emerging talents, our creative solutions, our expertise, our heart and our Cougar spirit.

This is our path forward. As we empower our students to reach their full potential, we, too, must rise in this moment to reach ours. This plan will guide our decisions and focus our energy and resources. Together, we will be unstoppable in reaching our goals.


In 2021, the CSUSM community came together to define the long-term aspirations for university, embarking on a comprehensive process to develop a new strategic plan. In collaboration with MGT Consulting Group, the process was designed to engage stakeholders in a variety of avenues to collect insight, feedback, and priorities to advance the University and build on a successful foundation. A key first step in the approach was an initial meeting with President Neufeldt and the Strategic Planning Committee co-chairs to clarify and confirm expected outcomes and the process for moving forward. The initial meeting focused on project expectations and desired strategic planning process outcomes.

Project Initiation 

Project priorities, in unranked order, included a focus on: 

  • Creating a strategic plan that is a living document used to guide decision making and progress assessment; 
  • Defining student success;
  • Strengthening social mobility and national reputation for equity and inclusion; 
  • Responsiveness to a changing higher education environment, particularly focused on COVID-19 as an accelerant for responding, adapting, and capturing the lessons learned from the pandemic; 
  • Determining opportunities for growth in enrollments and academic planning; 
  • Identifying and differentiating the University through stewardship, integrity, and social responsibility while facing big challenges and stepping up to meet those challenges; 
  • As a community-engaged anchor institution of our region, build on CSUSM’s legacy as a university of place; 
  • Long-term sustainability to innovate and grow; 
  • Continuing to build a distinctive campus identity and reputation;
  • Most importantly, engage all members of the university community in the process.