The Montana University System Strategic Plan is the primary planning document of the Board of Regents. The Plan sets forth an agenda for higher education in Montana by delineating the strategic directions, goals, and objectives that guide the Montana University System (MUS).


In July 2006, after several years of study, public dialogue, and internal deliberations, the Board of Regents approved the Strategic Plan. Since then, updates have occurred annually, including revisions to strategic initiatives as well as a refreshing of the data within each goal.

The development of the Strategic Plan began with two primary initiatives. The first was to work more closely with the interim legislature to develop a set of mutually agreed upon accountability measures that would guide the MUS and evaluate progress. Working with the Postsecondary Education Policy and Budget (PEPB) subcommittee of the 57th Legislature, the Board of Regents did develop this set of accountability measures in July 2002. Subsequently, the PEPB subcommittee has updated the accountability measures. This latest set of agreed-upon measures evolved into “shared policy goals” and work to form one base for this strategic plan.

The second initiative was to work with the PEPB Subcommittee to explore new ways for the MUS take a more direct leadership role in the state’s economic development. This overall effort, called “Shared
Leadership for a Stronger Montana Economy”, engaged a broad range of Montanans to prioritize specific initiatives that would help establish a new role for the MUS in strengthening the state’s economy. The Governor’s Office and several legislative interim committees were included in the effort. In July 2004, the Board of Regents and the PEPB subcommittee met jointly and agreed on three priority initiatives for immediate implementation:

  • Develop stronger business-university system partnerships for workforce training;
  • Remove barriers to access for postsecondary education; and
  • Expand distance learning programs and training.


The Strategic Plan is comprised of three primary goals that contain a series of sub-goal statements and objectives within each area.

Goal 1: Access & Affordability
Increase the overall educational attainment of Montanans through increased participation, retention
and completion rates in the Montana University System

Goal 2: Workforce & Economic Development
Assist in the expansion and improvement of the state’s economy through the development of high value jobs and the diversification of the economic base

Goal 3: Efficiency & Effectiveness
Improve institutional and system efficiency and effectiveness

Maintaining the high quality of our institutions and the education provided to our students is not listed as an explicit goal. This is because it is THE MOST IMPORTANT consideration for every goal and initiative of the Montana University System and is considered to be an integral part of every component of this strategic plan.