University of Wisconsin-La Crosse |

UW-La Crosse Strategic Plan

Surround yourself with distinction. Surround yourself with UW-La Crosse.

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Strategic Planning

Priorities, goals and action steps for the university over the first year of the plan.

Our action steps, timelines, and point people have been developed, in part, as a result of the feedback received during this planning process. You may also review the full (unedited) report.


Achieving excellence through equity and diversity

UWL is committed to being an equitable & welcoming community to maintain our status as a high quality & competitive university.


  • Achieve demographic equity in access and retention for students, staff, faculty, and administrators.
  • Provide fully inclusive educational experiences for all students.
  • Ensure that all employees are engaged in creating a dynamic and welcoming campus community.
  • Make UWL's Equity & Diversity efforts highly visible and coordinated across campus.

Learn more and meet the action team.


Increasing community engagement

UWL embraces community engagement as a key component to our teaching, scholarly, & service mission.


  • Initiate strategies that create and promote increased opportunities for students’ community engagement that are academically grounded.
  • Measure, assess and create accountability structure for community engagement across UWL.
  • Market mutually beneficial relationships between UWL and private/public organizations in the greater La Crosse community, state, region, and globally; in particular, focus on the importance of public/community engagement in advancing UWL’s mission centered on the value of a Liberal Arts education.
  • Integrate community engagement into UWL policies and procedures.
  • Secure funding to support continued community engagement.

Learn more and meet the action team.


Investing in our people

UWL recognizes that our status as a high quality and competitive university depends on our faculty and staff.


  • Prioritize employee compensation.
  • Promote an environment of employee inclusion, ownership and engagement.
  • Create clear and consistent assessment and accountability policies for all employees.

Learn more and meet the action team.


Transformational education

High-impact teaching & learning opportunities that are proven to aid student success across diverse backgrounds.


  • Increase the percentage of students who have engaged in at least one high-impact practice by graduation.
  • Expand international/global learning opportunities for all students.
  • Enhance graduate education.
  • Increase opportunities for, and awareness of, experiential learning.
  • Increase opportunities for cross-disciplinary teaching and learning.
  • Evaluate and revise the General Education program.

Learn more and meet the action team.


Fassett Cotton, our institution's first leader, serving from 1909-1924, conceived the original University of Wisconsin-La Crosse educational philosophy of the total development of the individual. Later, history professor and Dean of the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences, William M. Laux (1922-1967), suggested the symbols of our official university seal along with the accompanying Latin phrase, mens corpusque ("mind and body"), to exemplify our collective commitment to a high quality education for the whole person.

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse values:

  • The mens corpusque educational philosophy that recognizes each student as a whole person and aspires to enhance both mind and body through the noble search for knowledge, truth, and meaning central to a wide range of high quality learning experiences and scholarly pursuits.
  • Diversity, equity, and the inclusion and engagement of all people in a safe campus climate that embraces and respects the innumerable different perspectives found within an increasingly integrated and culturally diverse global community.
  • A high quality of life and work balance, incorporating best practices for shared governance and the acquisition and efficient management of resources, equitable compensation, general wellness, and social, environmental, and economic sustainability.
  • Civic engagement and a renewed commitment to the Wisconsin Idea, in which our socially responsible campus serves as a resource for our increasingly intertwined local, state, and global communities, collaborating and sharing resources and expertise to improve the human condition.


The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse provides a challenging, dynamic, and diverse learning environment in which the entire university community is fully engaged in supporting student success. Grounded in the liberal arts, UWL fosters curiosity and life-long learning through collaboration, innovation, and the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge. Acknowledging and respecting the contributions of all, UWL is a regional academic and cultural center that

prepares students to take their place in a constantly changing world community. The university offers undergraduate programs and degrees in the arts and humanities, health and sciences, education, and business administration. The university offers graduate programs related to areas of emphasis and strength within the institution, including business administration, education, health, the sciences, and the social sciences.


The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse aims to foster within each student the curiosity, creativity, and tenacity necessary to solve the regional, national, and international challenges of the 21st century. The university's official motto mens corpusque ("mind and body") will continue to guide our direction as a student-centered university committed to a quality education for the whole person. As such, it will continue to provide opportunities both inside and outside the classroom for the development of sound mental, emotional, and ethical skills, as well as general well-being. Our students, faculty, and staff will experience the world through constantly evolving technologies and cultures. Thus, the skills of effective communication, critical thought, leadership, and an appreciation for diversity must be the hallmarks of a UWL education.

Thank you to our steering committee

Ann Zanzig, facilitator

Enilda Delgado, chair (Sociology Professor)
Kate Allison (SAA graduate student) 
Colin Belby (Earth Science Associate Professor)
Ruthann Benson (Liaison, Provost Office)
Amanda Goodenough (Assistant Director of Campus Climate)
Tisha King-Heiden (Biology Associate Professor)
Laura Milner (Dean, Business)
Troy Richter (Assistant Director of Residence Life)
Jim Treu (Information Security Officer)
Maren Walz (Web Coordinator)