USU Brand: Presidential Initiatives

Presidential Priorities

USU President Noelle E. Cockett’s priorities for USU aspire to greater learning, discovery, and engagement.

Student Success, including experiential learning.

USU invests significant resources to proactively monitor and address student success and help students reach graduation. Rethinking advising, hands-on instruction methods, community-engaged service learning, new grading rubrics, changes in tuition pricing models, and a number of other data-driven instructional tools keep our eyes on the prize – graduation rates!

Access to post-secondary education for underserved populations and communities across Utah.

USU is proud of its fundamental land-grant mission to bring higher education opportunities to underserved populations and rural communities throughout the state. Recent university efforts include partnerships with the USU Inclusion Center to expand trainings specific to issues faced by racially diverse students, and outreach efforts both on- and off-campus from our rapidly growing Latinx Cultural Center.

Strengthen USU’s trajectory of research distinction.

USU continues its upward trajectory of research distinction, as evidenced by increasing total research awards to faculty and research staff. Our renowned Space Dynamics Laboratory and other USU centers continue to set the pace of international research scholarship in a number of diverse fields. Our annual Student Research Symposium gives graduate and undergraduate researchers the opportunity to share their research - more than 400 students participated in the latest event.

Communicate and develop USU’s excellence in water, land, and air research.

As the state’s land-grant institution, Utah State is uniquely situated to help solve Utah’s and the nation’s challenges through evidence-based research. The Research Landscapes series brings continuing focus on the university’s campus-wide expertise specifically in the areas of land, air, and water. National research experts at USU are responding to state, national, and industry challenges to help optimize our use of the nation’s valuable, but limited, resources.

Expand outreach to Utah citizens in the areas of health and well-being.

Blue Plate Research is a new USU event series highlighting discoveries in the areas of health and well-being, with a focus on sharing easy-to-understand research with Utah health advocates, statewide stakeholders, and the public. The series highlights USU experts sharing their research and how it's applicable to the everyday lives of people in Utah.

Increase diversity of students, faculty and staff.

President Cockett created a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to guide the university’s efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive university system. The task force includes faculty and staff across USU campuses and is charged with conducting a campus climate assessment on university inclusion; developing a five-year strategic plan for diversity and inclusion at USU; and convening key players on a regular basis to oversee implementation of the strategy. Each year, President Cockett sponsors the Inclusive Excellence Symposium, a Cache Valley Diversity Dinner, and USU Diversity Awards recognizing individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to diversity and inclusion.

Promote inclusiveness and respect across the USU community.

Aggies Think Care Act is a campus-wide initiative to foster respect and inclusiveness. The initiative embraces civic responsibility, respect for diversity, and human dignity. Aggies receive unique opportunities for civic engagement and leadership roles that prepare graduates to become leaders in their local communities and in communities around the world. These opportunities — both inside and out of the classroom — embody the “Aggie Experience.”

Facilitate students and faculty entrepreneurship.

President Cockett emphasizes entrepreneurship in both faculty and students. USU and its Center for Entrepreneurship foster skills such as creativity, self-reliance, tenacity, persistence, and resourcefulness through classes, internships, and student competitions that impact world and develop entrepreneurial leaders.

Launch USU’s second fundraising capital campaign.

University Advancement is currently carrying out extensive conversations with various constituent groups of alumni, friends and campus-wide leaders to envision and implement a unique capital campaign model that will allow us to respond to the needs of the time, while ensuring USU’s long-term commitment to institutional success. We will use creative storytelling to show the impact of donor investment on students, faculty, research, and excellence initiatives.

Continue to compete in the upper echelon of the Mountain West Conference.

USU must continue to remain competitive in the highest ranks of the Mountain West Conference, both on the playing fields and in the classroom. USU student-athletes continue to bring home championships, and Utah State's nearly 400 student-athletes lead the Mountain West with a combined 3.36 grade point average and a 93% graduation success rate.