Strategic Plan Main Image

By 2030, Ƶ will have implemented integrative learning practices, equity-minded access policies, extensive experiential learning, compassionate challenge, and a holistic wellness focus to meet our mission call and ensure our sustainability.

Approved unanimously by the Board of Trustees in the fall of 2023, Transforming Learning, Transforming Lives: The Levavi Oculos Strategic Plan offers an energizing direction for Hollins University. Its bold yet achievable goals will be met and implemented over the course of the coming seven years. By 2030, this ambitious strategic plan will have reshaped the course of the university’s future and opened currently unimaginable future opportunities.

The plan revolves around three “gears”: Academic Excellence, Access, and Wellness. Gears were chosen because the university envisions each of the three goals of this strategic plan as thoroughly redesigned and renovated ecosystems that interact with and are dependent upon one another. All goals must move forward together, in sync.

The Three Gears of Transformation

GEAR ONE: Academic Excellence

Heather Derrick Class - Fall 2023

Hollins University’s long tradition of academic excellence provides a solid foundation for the institution’s future. It serves as an invitation to academic renewal and renovation so that we can meet the evolving needs of our students and the society in which they live. We are living in an era of rapid transformation, accelerated by the pandemic and influenced by changing ideas and beliefs about gender, race, and class, as well as anxiety about climate change, technology, and the fate of democracy. Now more than ever, we are called to prepare our students for a multiplicity of unscripted future challenges, while also ensuring that our learning environment allows all students to persist, thrive, and succeed during their college education and beyond, especially those who have been historically marginalized. Ƶ can be a leader among other institutions of higher education for social, economic, and civic mobility. 

The strategic principle undergirding this plan for academic excellence is systemic transformation. 

Academic Excellence: Strategic Plan
1. Academic Renewal and Interdisciplinary Integration​

2. Transformative Learning to Advance Social Mobility​

3. A Humane Workplace for Thriving​

GEAR TWO: Access

This gear focuses on initiatives that support enrollment growth, both by increasing the number of students selecting Ƶ and by improving the number who persist to degree. 

Access centers around four strategic goals, the first of which focuses on supporting undergraduate students in overcoming financial barriers associated with attending Ƶ. Demographics indicate that limited income students will continue to make up increasing proportions of the college-going population. “Worry-free tuition” ensures that all eligible students, regardless of socioeconomic background, will have access to the rights, privileges, and distinct advantages of a Ƶ education. This transformative initiative has broad reaching impacts, including selectivity and rankings, and nests neatly with Academic Excellence and Wellness initiatives focusing on holistic student support. 

Beyond the financial barrier which looms so prominently over college access are initiatives focused on college success. At Ƶ, we affirm the unique identities of students with a common mantra: You are enough, just as you are, and all you need is here

Access Gear: Strategic Plan
1. Remove Financial Barriers to Undergraduate Education

2. Provide Premier Pathway to – and Through – College​

3. Expand Online Degree Offerings for Adult and Continuing Education Learners

4. Strengthen Regional Impact as a High-Value Educational Partner

GEAR THREE: Wellness

Soccer - Halloween practice 2023

For our students to flourish and grow both intellectually and socially it is important for them to develop skills through self-awareness, discovery, and understanding of the different dimensions of wellness. For Ƶ to flourish a culture of well-being must be cultivated through integrated and supportive initiatives that honor both personal and mutual responsibility and engagement. 

Wellness is not just about addressing illness. It is much bigger and more complex than that simple belief and is grounded in a holistic approach that provides tools, programs, and pathways to help all community members reach their full potential. 

We know that the well-being of the Ƶ community requires the collective and connected well-being of the individuals within our community. To achieve community well-being at Ƶ, wellness initiatives must benefit the whole, recognize different members of the community have diverse needs that vary over time, and engagement will build as individuals feel connected and included. 

Wellness Gear: Strategic Plan
1. Build a Dynamic, Comprehensive Wellness Center

2. Cultivate and Enhance Engagement With the Natural World

3. Create a More Inclusive and Accessible University​

4. Implement Comprehensive Equine Studies Program​

The Strategic Planning Committes

Academic Excellence

Laurie McLary
Elise Schweitzer

Team members:
Heather Toro Derrick
Dan Derringer
Elizabeth Dulemba
Dina Hackley-Hunt
Genevieve Hendricks
Wendy-Marie Martin
Rachel Nuñez
Teri Wagner


Ashley Browning
Anita Walton

Team members:
Ashleigh Breske
Emilee Dunton
Chanelle Sears
Maritza Steele
Lauren Walker


Kerry Edmonds
Lisa Dmochowski
Mary Dana Hinton

Team members:

Madeline Aliff
Lindsey Breitwieser
Becky Harman
Chris Kilcoyne
Jon Guy Owens
Darin Pearson 
Sherri West