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New strategic plan will outline university priorities over five-year term

As science evolves, so must its institutions.

“Successful organizations take time to evaluate their priorities, review their processes, and ensure that they are making wise choices about when and where to invest their resources as needs change,” says Richard P. Lifton, Rockefeller’s president.

The university underwent its last strategic planning initiative in 2012, and the objectives of that plan are now fulfilled: New faculty members have been hired, new research initiatives have been established, new equipment has been purchased, and a new building is about to open. The time has come to begin the next planning process, Lifton says, outlining strategic initiatives for a five-year period, from 2019 to 2024.

To kick things off, Lifton has established a strategic planning committee of faculty members and senior administrators who will meet twice a month to consider a range of issues. In addition to Lifton, who is chair, its members are Cori Bargmann, Barry Coller, Titia de Lange, Jeff Friedman, Elaine Fuchs, Marnie Imhoff, Rod MacKinnon, Luciano Marraffini, Michel Nussenzweig, Timothy O’Connor, Charles Rice, Vanessa Ruta, Agata Smogorzewska, Leslie Vosshall, and Michael Young.

The committee’s work will be informed by presentations from administrative departments, as well as by conversations with community members. “The collective wisdom of this committee—along with the input we receive from our colleagues—is going to be the cornerstone of this planning process,” says Lifton. Members of the community who would like to contribute thoughts should write to

Among matters that will be discussed are faculty recruitment, the availability of scientific equipment and resources, campus space planning, support of basic science, the graduate program, support for postdocs, outreach and communications, opportunities for translational science, and financial planning.

The committee’s work will lead to the drafting of a formal plan by next summer that can be finalized and voted on at the November 2019 Board meeting; it is ultimately the Board’s responsibility to approve university strategy.

“We are honored to build on Rockefeller’s incredible foundation,” says Board Chair William E. Ford.  “This project is an opportunity to not only ensure that we maintain our excellence, but also to aim for even greater scientific heights in the years to come. I look forward to engaging the Trustees in this process as we work with the Board to support Rick’s vision and develop the next strategic plan to take Rockefeller forward.”