Augustana University Strategic Plan Approved by Board of Trustees

December 09, 2019

December 6, 2019


Augustana University announced today that its Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a new strategic plan – Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030. The strategic plan lays the foundation for Augustana to enhance its standing as a top-ranked regional university and elevate its national profile amidst extraordinary change in higher education.

“As a liberal arts university that bears witness to the transformational power of education, Augustana, over the next decade, will develop and deliver new and bold academic offerings to more students, amplify excellence through the arts and athletics, enhance intercultural awareness and understanding, and adapt the physical campus and IT infrastructure to inspire and support future generations of Augustana students and the broader community,” says Augustana President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.

Since the Board of Trustees’ unanimous endorsement of the Vision 2030 aspirational goals in December 2018, the university conducted extensive research and analysis to identify how best to reach the goals and objectives outlined in the strategic plan, which is guided by Augustana’s mission and core values. 

The comprehensive strategic planning process engaged a cross-section of Augustana faculty, staff, coaches and students as well as local and national consultants. Campus steering committees also benchmarked programs and data to that of other universities to inform options and make recommendations. The university also took immediate action to develop a new academic program – Augustana’s Master of Business Administration degree that begins in fall 2020 – because of strong interest among students, alumni and employers who are investing in emerging leaders within their organizations.

To enable the university to remain nimble and adjust to the ever-evolving landscape of higher education, the strategic plan comprises three phases and will be funded through the university’s largest, most comprehensive campaign. Augustana will evaluate its progress after each phase while adding and realigning resources to achieve the following goals:


  • Establish new academic structures and centers that sustain excellence, facilitate growth, and cultivate innovative and impactful teaching, learning, and research in order to provide an education of enduring worth.
  • Establish new academic programs grounded in the liberal arts that challenge the intellect while responding to the needs and interests of students. These programs will grow enrollment, diversify revenue and address workforce priorities of the local community and region.

Enrollment & Strategic Scholarships

  • Enroll 3,000+ undergraduate and graduate students and provide a welcoming and inclusive environment as different backgrounds, experiences and ways of thinking encourage learning, acceptance and service.
  • Make an Augustana education more affordable and accessible for more students with innovative scholarship partnerships among alumni and regional organizations while adapting the university business model and operations to ensure financial sustainability.


  • Recruit and retain exceptional student-athletes to maintain academic and athletic excellence and enhance their collegiate experience through academic and wellness support, community engagement, and service opportunities.
  • Transition to NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics to provide student-athletes the opportunity to compete at a higher level, elevate the profile of the university, and inspire Sioux Falls to enthusiastically embrace Augustana University as the hometown team by serving the community and integrating our mission with its needs.

Physical Campus & Information Technology (IT)

  • Transform the physical campus to include new and enhanced facilities that serve the educational, spiritual and holistic needs of Augustana’s students, faculty and staff, and inspire others in the community who utilize our campus.
  • Transform Augustana into a dynamic digital campus through emerging technologies, excellent connectivity, and best practices in cyber security that serve student learning, enable innovative teaching and research, and support the university’s business processes and overall mission.

President Herseth Sandlin adds, “For 160 years, Augustana has been providing students an education of enduring worth and preparing leaders and visionaries who influence every aspect of society. New academic programs and real-world research, learning and service opportunities will equip and empower an entirely new generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists and educators to impact their workplaces and strengthen the communities they call home. Many of our graduates choose to live, work and raise families here in Sioux Falls, and Viking Bold reflects how Augustana and the city will continue to grow together.”

The detailed strategic plan, including goals for each phase, can be found at

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