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Strategic Plan Process

Universities across the nation are striving to make themselves “student ready”. NKU determined that its strategic planning process was the perfect place to ensure that students were at the center of all university planning. Looking beyond traditional strategic planning methodologies and lengthy development timeframes, NKU developed a strategic framework to be responsive to student needs and environmental changes.  The result is Success by Design, a strategic plan with a singular focus on student success. 

Success by Design's framework consists of three pillars, which will guide how NKU delivers support, services, and programs to all learners — not just traditional students — by meeting the learners where they are in their educational journey.

Students at graduation


  • Create a highly collaborative, transparent process that engages and empowers faculty, staff, students, and the community to action
  • Foster an environment based on prudent risk-taking and acceptance of failure
  • Communicate frequently and celebrate successes
  • Align resources, structures and incentives for strategy execution
Student and technology


  • Engage with the campus and external community
  • Gather qualitative and quantitative data for guidance
  • Identify what NKU will do to support Access, Completion, and Career and Community Engagement based on gathered data
  • Design and deliver a simple, well-defined university framework with student success goals and objectives focused on Access, Completion, and Career and Community Engagement