The Future of UNH

Four strategic priorities are guiding UNH toward a bold, overarching aspiration– to be among the nation’s top 25 public universities in the most important measures of academic performance. Launched by President James W. Dean Jr. in January 2019, this innovation vision is driving our success.

Academic Performance Metrics

We believe these metrics are some of the most important indicators of academic performance. We are already top 25 in some, close on others, and have some ways to go on a few. If you want to explore these metrics further, view the list of the top 50 public universities for each metric and see the data sources we are using for each, please visit here. These metrics had to meet two criteria: they need to be a meaningful indicator of academic performance and there needs to be a national database available to compare ourselves.

  • Graduation rate
    current rank: 45

    This is probably the simplest and most obvious measure of student success. Students who don’t graduate experience a great deal of the costs but few of the benefits of higher education.
  • Graduation rate for Pell Grant students
    current rank: 43

    This captures our ability to help students who come from families with limited means to experience the economic opportunities available to college graduates.
  • Percentage loan repayment
    current rank: 17

    This captures our graduates’ ability to repay their loans, which is an indirect measure of their career preparation and success.
  • Percentage of first-year students in the top 10% of their high school class
    current rank: 146

    This captures our ability to attract the best and brightest to UNH.
  • Student participation in high-impact educational practices
    current rank: 17

    Research has shown that certain activities (e.g. internships and research) make a big difference in student success post-graduation.
  • Best Value
    current rank: 13

    This measures the quality of a UNH education relative to its cost.
  • Ratio of administrative to instructional expenses
    current rank: 201

    This addresses how efficiently we perform administrative work at UNH.
  • Sustainability
    current rank: 5

    This assesses our education, research and practices in supporting environmental, fiscal and social responsibility.
  • Research funding per faculty member
    current rank: 55

    This is an assessment of the research productivity of our faculty.

Four Strategic Priorities

Drawing on input from thousands of members of the UNH community, each of the four priorities includes new initiatives and metrics that will direct and measure progress in these important areas.

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Enhance Student Success and Well-Being

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Expand Academic Excellence

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Embrace New Hampshire

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Build Financial Strength

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Enhance Student Success and Well-Being


UNH will ensure that all students graduate on time and are engaged and ethical global citizens. They will be prepared to thrive in their first jobs and throughout their careers. In order to do this, UNH will become a national leader in designing the educational experience from the first year to graduation.

  • UNH-wide retention program, focusing on first two years
  • Rethink core curriculum
  • Provide state-of-the-art teaching, learning

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Expand Academic Excellence


UNH will attract increasingly strong and diverse students and faculty from across the country and abroad. The university will be known and respected for the high caliber of teaching, research and advising in its academic programs. Its distinguished research, scholarship and doctoral education will be recognized worldwide.

  • Re-envision the Honors Program to become an Honors College
  • Corporate Partners Program
  • Identify and support high-potential research and graduate programs
  • Expand graduate education

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Embrace New Hampshire


UNH will work hard to make everyone in New Hampshire incredibly proud of their flagship public university. Students will grow up here wanting to come to UNH, and it will be the first choice for the best and brightest students from New Hampshire and around the world. UNH will build collaborations that support New Hampshire’s economy and quality of life, and will be a trusted, valuable and consistent partner.

  • Create Business Council
  • Expand leadership, student visits in Concord
  • Partner with N.H. high schools

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Build Financial Strength


UNH will be a national leader in cost management and aligning its budget and resources with its strategic priorities. UNH will become more accessible and affordable for students by diversifying revenue sources and managing expenses. UNH will meet the full range of student needs by providing world-class faculty, facilities and organization.

  • Establish new CFO organization
  • Deep dive on cost management in academic and non-academic areas
  • Diversify tuition revenue to include N.H. online, micro credentials and professional M.S.
  • Strategic funding pool
  • Initiate new capital campaign

President’s Remarks

UNH State of the University 2020

On Feb. 4, 2020, President Dean and university leaders provided a progress report on the “The Future of UNH” at the State of the University address.

read the remarks

Future of UNH: Four Strategic Priorities

President Dean presented “The Future of UNH” to the UNH community on Jan. 24, 2019. Watch the video and learn how to get involved.

read the remarks

How Can You Help?

Do you have an idea to help UNH achieve new heights and reach our aspirations ? Please share your feedback. Contact the President's Office at