President’s Posts

Michael Rao, Ph.D.

Dear Members of the VCU Community,

Virginia Commonwealth University’s positive impact on Virginia and beyond is truly transformative. Our work is guided by a strategic plan that was developed collaboratively among our stakeholders and based on assumptions of the academy and society in 2018. 

Because assumptions about the future are challenging to predict, it is important that strategic plans are regularly reviewed and adjusted, or recalibrated. 

Since launching our current strategic plan, Quest 2025: Together We Transform, our world has changed, and similarly, our strategic priorities need to be realistically focused. The time has come to recalibrate Quest 2025

This is not an overhaul of Quest 2025; it’s an intentional refocusing of our work as an institution of consequence to Virginia and literally thousands of people, allowing us to apply the lessons we’ve learned.

As a research university and academic medical center, we have never been more prepared, more energized, or more determined than we are today to shift toward a culture of responsiveness, speed, scale and transformative innovation in education, research, creative practices and healthcare. 

Our Next Steps

I have charged Dr. Fotis Sotiropoulos, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Tomikia LeGrande, vice president for Strategy, Enrollment Management and Student Success, to lead this recalibration effort. They will be supported by an executive committee comprised of a subset of the President’s team. 

University-wide engagement is the  foundation of our recalibration process. VCU’s faculty, staff and student shared governance groups, as well as alumni and external community stakeholders, will provide information and perspective throughout the recalibration process. 

Initial opportunities for engagement will begin in November. Our goal is to present the updated plan to the VCU Board of Visitors in May 2022. 

Details about the recalibration process, including timelines and opportunities for providing feedback, are online at All faculty, staff and students will receive a survey in November and I hope you will provide your valuable feedback.

As I shared in the State of the University address early this year, VCU’s mission is “the most inspiring there is: creating transformational educational, research and health care opportunities for ALL people by improving access, affordability and outcomes.”

Our entire community has demonstrated tremendous adaptability, ingenuity, creativity and tenacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we will maintain momentum as we sharpen our focus and transform VCU for the immediate and long term futures.


Michael Rao, Ph.D.
President, VCU and VCU Health

Categories 21st-Century University, Community, Periodic update, To VCU, Uncategorized
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