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Strategic planning is driven and shaped by environmental factors – those within the university and others in the marketplace. It does not happen in a vacuum. Aspirations in context determine university priorities, sometimes expanding or accelerating planning, sometimes slowing the pace.

The original Dominican University 10-year strategic plan, Launching Our Second Century, was conceived at a February 2001 visioning weekend, involving more than 100 trustees, faculty, staff, students and alumnae/i gathered to propose future directions for the university. The University Planning Committee has continued to revisit and prioritize the plan – most recently in 2008 – with Pathways to Distinction, a thorough update of the original plan establishing priorities for 2009-2013.