Strategic Priorities and Goals

View the 2021-2026 Division of Student Life Strategic Plan

Goal 1: Student Engagement

Enhance the student experience through meaningful engagement and high-impact practices.


  • Define and adopt a Division and institutional definition of student engagement that reinforces a broad array of significant learning experiences
  • Inventory and evaluate existing high-impact practices* to identify effective practices and opportunities to scale
  • Implement interventions to increase equitable participation in student engagement activities
  • Align resources to support effective practices and signature programs focusing on a continuum of engagement (all virtual to all in person)
  • Create partnerships across campus, particularly with the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Research, to promote engagement opportunities, including undergraduate research
  • Implement the Hawkeye Engage tool, a data-driven platform to help students explore and reflect upon opportunities for engagement

Goal 2: Holistic Well-Being

Lead a campus-wide movement to enhance holistic well-being.


  • Adopt a common definition of well-being to incorporate safety and access to basic needs
  • Define organizational model/structure for a collaborative and holistic approach to well-being that addresses health inequities
  • Prioritize well-being through staffing, hybridization (in person and virtual) of services, creation of an integrated well-being facility, and adequate resource allocation
  • Partner with the Office of the Provost to leverage the well-being model to support University of Iowa retention goals

Goal 3: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Lead boldly through the Division of Student Life’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan.


  • Integrate DEI into daily work by establishing leader behaviors (student-first, employee-first, organization-first behaviors that demonstrate organizational values and illustrate desired organizational norms of being and doing)
  • Engage leadership in an Equity Institute
  • Revise the Division’s supplemental performance evaluation document to increase accountability for DEI
  • Communicate the DEI Action Plan consistently throughout the Division and across campus
  • Refresh the plan as goals are achieved to ensure continuous improvement

 Goal 4: Community and Sense of Belonging

Cultivate virtual and in person programs and physical spaces that promote a sense of belonging, opportunities for socialization, and community development. 


  • Develop cultural neighborhood with both infrastructure and robust programming (staffing, physical plant, and adequate resource allocation for existing cultural and resource centers; construction of a Cultural Neighborhood)
  • Complete a graduate and professional student needs assessment and develop intentional outreach that invites graduate and professional students to participate in initiatives and programs
  • Invest in student support partnerships with collegiate and academic advising staff
  • Invest in the student employment experience by providing high-impact practices through Iowa GROW® and essential skill development
  • Collaborate with the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to facilitate ongoing opportunities for the community to engage in difficult dialogues
  • Promote a broad definition of civic engagement and create high-impact opportunities for students
  • Using evidence-informed practices, outline programs and services to increase sense of belonging for first-generation students

Goal 5: Staff Support

Recruit, retain, engage and develop employees at all levels to enrich student success.


  • Review staff salaries for competitive alignment with peer institutions, industry norms, and internal comparative positions
  • Assess experience and expectations of merit staff’s sense of belonging as Division employees
  • Utilize and share data from the Working at Iowa Survey and employee exit interviews to guide policy improvement and effective supervision
  • Implement consistent and equitable opportunities for professional development across the Division
  • Continue to engage staff through multiple effective communication strategies, including periodic Division gatherings, and both virtual and in person options
  • Expand the hybridization of our programs and services to support remote work and student access

Goal 6: Resources and Development

Grow and align Division resources and revenue to support priorities.


  • Develop new sources of revenue through philanthropy and partnership
  • Partner with the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA) to increase alumni engagement based on affinity/student engagement
  • Work with campus partners to build parent and family engagement strategy
  • Sponsor development training for staff
  • Recommend adoption of customer relationship management (CRM) system to track students through alumni status
  • Review sources and uses of funds to identify opportunities for efficiency, including outsourcing and shared service models
  • Establish partnership with campus master plan
  • Expand strategic partnerships