The latest from President Rao

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    State of the University Address

    The president talks about VCU as a “More Relevant” university in the third annual State of the University Address.

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    A promising spring 2016

    The president welcomes students, faculty and staff to the spring semester and outlines the exciting initiatives ahead.

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    Presidential Forum on Diversity and Inclusion

    President Rao and student leaders lead the university community in a conversation about diversity and inclusion at VCU.

Vision and goals

Virginia Commonwealth University’s six-year strategic plan, Quest for Distinction, sets forth the vision for VCU to be the nation’s premier urban, public research university. Now in the final two years, Quest rests upon three themes that outline the university’s institutional priorities, goals and strategies.

A physics professor lectures in front of a class

Theme I

Become a leader among national research universities in providing all students with high-quality learning/living experiences focused on inquiry, discovery and innovation in a global environment.

A professor works with a student in a lab

Theme II

Attain distinction as a fully integrated urban, public research university through contributions in human health, research, scholarship and creative expression that advance knowledge and enhance the quality of life.

A child hugs a VCU School of Social Work student

Theme III

Become a national model for community engagement and regional impact.

Graphic for more info

For more information, visit the VCU strategic plan website for the latest updates, implementation process and copies of the full Quest for Distinction document and executive summary.

Reports and initiatives

  • Graphic for the Quest for Distinction logo

    Quest for Distinction »

    Quest for Distinction — VCU’s strategic plan — embodies the university’s dedication to advancing knowledge and student success — a dual commitment that is exceptional among research universities.

  • Graphic for the 2014-15 University Annual Report

    University Annual Report »

    Read the latest annual report to learn about VCU’s unique blend of qualities: grit, urban, diversity and access.

  • Graphic for the Grow by Degrees logo

    Grow by Degrees »

    Grow by Degrees is a statewide campaign that aims to expand job opportunities and economic growth in Virginia through reform-based reinvestment in the state’s higher education system. Priorities include awarding 100,000 more college degrees by 2025.

  • A Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology staff/faculty meeting

    Great Place Initiative »

    The Great Place Initiative aims to strengthen the human element upon which Quest for Distinction — VCU’s strategic plan — is based by focusing on aspects of benefits, culture, recognition and work/life balance within the framework of strong core values of civility and respect.

  • Numbers in an Excel spreadsheet

    Enterprise risk management »

    VCU’s enterprise risk management program is a comprehensive approach to identifying risks that could severely impact the university.

By the numbers

Icon graphic for a line chart $270.3m

in sponsored research

Icon graphic for a graduation cap 31,242

students enrolled

Icon graphic for a group of people 21,679


President’s posts Highlights from Dr. Rao’s blog

VCU School of Dentistry students providing dental service to the community

How we “Make it real”

February 2, 2016

A few days ago, I had lunch with a group of remarkable entrepreneurs. These creative minds had started companies that engineer life-saving medical devices; grow and distribute healthier foods; create beautiful and original fashion; promote safe, effective and sustainable ride sharing; and more. These entrepreneurs were brilliant and passionate, and …

Michael Rao, Ph.D., speaking at the Forum on Diversity and Inclusion

Following up on Presidential Forum on Diversity and Inclusion

November 19, 2015

Yesterday, we engaged in a productive discussion about diversity and inclusion at Virginia Commonwealth University, especially relating to the lives of black students.

Women’s Basketball Head Coach Beth O’Boyle, VCU President Michael Rao, Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin and Men’s Basketball Head Coach Will Wade.

The importance of athletics

November 2, 2015

Earlier today, we cut the ribbon on our Basketball Development Center, a best-of-its-kind practice facility for our men’s and women’s basketball teams.

VCU Health logo

The unyielding pursuit of discovery

August 26, 2015

Today marks a significant milestone for Virginia Commonwealth University as we launch VCU Health, a new brand that captures all of the compelling and exciting work we do together every day, across our institution.