Our Strategic Plan

The DENIN Strategic Plan, finalized in 2021, was carefully aligned with the University of Delaware strategic plan, Forward and Forever, which emphasizes student access and success, social justice, interdisciplinarity and innovation. Furthermore, work by the DENIN community advances desired progress at the University of Delaware toward innovations in sustainability and deeper responses to environmental challenges in the face of climate change.

The strategic plan has been developed reflecting the vision of DENIN director Dr. Holly Michael, who was selected to serve a five-year term as DENIN director, effective in September 2021. Dr. Michael succeeds DENIN’s founding director, Dr. Donald L. Sparks, who had served as director since 2009. 

DENIN’s strategic plan outlines three core strategic directives and fourteen objectives. 


Strategic Directive Objectives
1) To grow value both within the UD community, as well as beyond.
  1. Increase awareness of the value that DENIN brings by supporting researchers and communicating our successes
  2. Expand affiliates and encourage broader and deeper participation
  3. Become a leader in promoting DEI
  4. Grow leaders
  5. Strengthen partnerships with external organizations
2) To enhance the global reputation of UD and DENIN through excellence in research and academic programs.
  1. Conduct leading-edge interdisciplinary environmental research focusing on key areas of excellence
  2. Create new interdisciplinary academic programs that can compete with the best in the world
  3. Engage influential board members 
  4. Create new national and global partnerships
  5. Invite high-profile guest speakers to our research and programs
3) To become financially sustainable through diversified funding sources.
  1. Engage people with resources who share our vision
  2. Obtain new large Center-type grants     
  3. Expand portfolio of research funders


A complete version of the DENIN strategic plan can be downloaded here.