Strategic Plan, 2019-2024

Since 2018, President Deanne H. Emilio, JD, the Steering Committee, and University faculty and staff have been hard at work brainstorming, planning, and executing Gwynedd Mercy University’s new Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan serves as a five-year roadmap for the University, detailing how it will adapt to the constantly shifting higher education landscape. Amidst exciting projects and opportunities, such as the purchase of the new East Campus, the plan will also keep the University’s goals and growth in line with our mission and values.

Developing the Plan

Planning kicked off in March 2018 with a GMercyU Community Day, an afternoon that brought the campus community together to submit their thoughts and ideas of where they saw the University heading in five years. The activity was led by CREDO, an organization that specializes in strategic planning for higher education institutions. CREDO will be our partner through the Strategic Planning process and implementation. Using the feedback, ideas, and views gathered from the University community, CREDO helped us develop a Strategy Map — a visual representation of our institution’s strategy to achieve our goals:

The map details the four themes at the core of the Strategic Plan: Distinctive Teaching and Learning; Transformative Student Experience; Empowered Community; and Compelling Brand. Each pillar houses various objectives and initiatives specific to that theme:

  • Distinctive Teaching and Learning: This theme is focused on developing cutting-edge new programs as well as existing GMercyU programs. It also includes a focus on innovative spaces and technology for our students.
  • Transformative Student Experience: This theme is focused on our students’ experiences at GMercyU and how we can fulfill their needs and exceed their expectations. This includes developing partnerships for experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, clinicals, study abroad, student teaching, undergraduate research, and more.
  • Empowered Community: In order to support our students, we need to have a strong and empowered community. This theme includes initiatives focused on improving technology and systems so faculty and staff can work more efficiently and proactively. This theme also focuses on our Campus Master Plan, which includes plans to develop and utilize the new East Campus.
  • Compelling Brand: Centered around creating WOW experiences for our community and crafting irresistible stories, this theme includes initiatives involving alumni, new traditions and experiences, and more support for student success. Through the Strategic Plan, the University also has developed a Vision Statement to help guide the University as we embark on this ambitious plan. The Vision Statement, along with the overall plan and implementation, is meant to inspire everyone in the GMercyU community to work together to accomplish the overall goals of the Strategic Plan.

VISION STATEMENT: “A university of first choice that unleashes your potential to meet the next great need.”

In August 2018, volunteers from across campus began working on Theme Teams, created to start developing individual initiatives within each of the four themes. All four Theme Teams consisted of approximately 60 members of the University community who gathered during the months of August and September for a total of four two-hour meetings. Based on the work of the Theme Teams, the Strategic Plan draft was completed in October 2018.

Once the draft of the plan was in place, President D’Emilio hosted a Community Affirmation of the Strategic Plan that November where faculty and staff could offer their feedback before it was submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval. On December 5, 2018, the Strategic Plan was enthusiastically approved by our Board of Trustees, and we excitedly prepared for its implementation in January 2019.

Plan Progress

For GMercyU, 2019 was a year of forward momentum. New Implementation Teams were assigned to tackle many of the initiatives in the Strategic Plan. For example, one of the initiatives, “More Engaging Website” was tasked with redesigning the GMercyU homepage to be more user-friendly and responsive. In September 2019, the new homepage went live at, featuring new video content, updates on news and events, and offering a whole new experience for users. There are so many more exciting and innovative updates on the way, thanks to the work of other Implementation Teams.

As the implementation of the Strategic Plan continues throughout 2020 and beyond, we remain enthusiastic and optimistic about the future of Gwynedd Mercy University and are excited to continue sharing additional updates as they happen.
Download a copy of the Strategic Plan (PDF).