Two Years to Two Decades Initiative

Sustainable Academic Business Plan

The UW of the 21st Century is:

  • Competitive
  • Collaborative
  • Technology-reliant
  • Nimble
  • Diversified

Read the full visioning document, the The UW of the 21st Century.

The Sustainable Academic Business is the cornerstone of the UW’s strategic framework to maintain excellence in teaching, scholarship, and research in light of financial realities. It outlines the goals and related activities that will keep the UW strong and well-positioned for the future.

Launched in 2010 under the umbrella project of Two Years to Two Decades (2y2d), the Sustainable Academic Business (SAB) Plan is based on the vision of more than 3,500 student, faculty, and staff who participated in 2y2d focus groups to imagine The UW of the 21st Century (visioning document). Based on this vision, the provost and campus leaders developed this SAB Plan to be an evolving framework of long- and short-term goals. It guides workgroups across the campus for implementing the 2y2d vision in the near-term, identifying gaps and launching initiatives to fill them.  The SAB Plan is regularly updated, most recently in spring 2014.

Quality comes first in long and short-term goals:
The UW can…


  • Academic excellence and mission
  • Financial stability


  • Attract the best students, faculty, and staff
  • Increase and diversify funding


  • Embrace technology and interdisciplinary collaboration to meet needs of a diverse and dispersed student body
  • Invest in people and infrastructure to meet 21st century challenges


  • Increasing revenue
  • Decreasing costs
  • Investing in people
  • Investing in infrastructure
  • Increasing access

A Flexible Framework

Because the Sustainable Academic Business Plan is a nimble framework, it is represented by diagrams, such as the one below, rather than by a text document.
SABP Framework

 View the PDF version of this image.

Delivering near-term impact through initiatives

Seven initiatives have been launched to date, focusing on improving the student experience, collaboration, teaching and learning, organizational effectiveness, program evaluation, student services, and our physical and virtual campus.  Four are ongoing; the rest were launched as ongoing efforts now run by relevant units.  See timeline for key initiative and program developments.

The rapid, near-term progress made possible by initiatives has been essential to move the UW forward in a time of major change.  It has helped ensure continued excellence, despite deep cuts, by decreasing costs, increasing revenues, and investing strategically in both people and infrastructure.

Current initiatives

  • Husky Experience: Ensuring transformative educational experiences for our students—inside and outside the classroom—so they graduate with the passion, skills, and knowledge that lead to meaningful lives and successful careers.
  • Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century: Meeting the needs of diverse, dispersed student populations.
  • Fostering Collaboration: Fostering collaborative research, teaching, and learning.
  • Organizational Excellence: Improving work processes, increasing effectiveness, and measuring success.

Steering committee

The Sustainable Academic Business Plan Steering Committee began meeting in summer 2010 and continues to meet quarterly.  It includes academic and administrative leaders as well as representatives from Faculty Senate.

Steering committee planning documents