Strategic Plan

The discipline of physics is both broad and deep, providing on the one hand a foundation for the study of other sciences and technical fields, while on the other hand allowing endless opportunities for focused research into specific areas of new knowledge of our natural world. We have kept our strategic goals somewhat general for this reason and, just as scientific research often follows unexpected paths, the final goal makes it clear that we will remain open to unpredicted new opportunities not expressed herein.


Goal 1: Maintain a high level of research and scholarship and external funding

Maintain a high level of research, scholarship, and external funding. Consistent with our teacher/scholar values, we will continue our tradition of highly productive scholarship, and move toward enhancing our external funding.

Goal 2: Enhance undergraduate research and co-curricular projects

Undergraduate research is a primary component of the department's reputation and should continue to grow and mature. Projects-based co-curricular activities have grown significantly in recent years and continued growth is expected.

Goal 3: Expand the computational physics program

Consistent with our history and pioneering work in computational physics education, we strive to retain our national advantage.

Goal 4: Further develop the applied physics program, including equipment and the student experience

Laboratory science is fundamental both to the advancement of knowledge and scientific applications and to education. This goal entails hiring new experimental physics faculty, updating laboratory curricula and equipment, and improving laboratory-based research.

Goal 5: Stengthen relationships with employers and provide internship opportunities for students

Strengthen relationships with employers and provide internship opportunities for students
Such relationships will enhance our applied physics and engineering students' education and improve employment prospects for graduates.

Goal 6: Enhance Undergraduate education and the Physics Teacher Education program

This goal envisions both an improvement in pedagogy throughout the curriculum and further enhancements in recruiting faculty and students for the PTE program. The department is already a national leader in PTE and will further cement that leadership position by advancing the program.

Goal 7: Enhance student recruitment and retention

National demographics point to fewer college age students in the next decade. Improved recruitment and retention will allow us to better compete for majors.

Goal 8: Strengthen alumni relations and foster giving

While we have improved considerably since our previous strategic plan, there is ample room for improvement.

Goal 9: Further develop outreach and public education programs

The department has improved significantly in this area in the past decade, and future growth of these programs is planned.

Goal 10: Maintain flexibility and adaptability

Flexibility allows us to be able to take advantage of new and unexpected opportunities consistent with our mission and College and University goals.