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Key Takeaway of Rutgers Athletics plan regarding “the relentless pursuit of excellence”

The five year strategic vision details the standards and goals in place

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Rutgers Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, Rutgers announced a five year plan regarding the strategic vision of the athletic department. A video that summarizes the plan was released and the report, which can be viewed here, begins a with letter to fans and supporters from athletic director Pat Hobbs.

The four strategic priorities of the five year plan include student-athlete excellence, cultural excellence, program excellence and sustaining excellence. Each priority is detailed with specific goals that the department plans to enhance its own standards with. Core values for Rutgers athletics detailed in this plan include excellence, integrity, respect, accountability, and grit.

From the athletic department’s release:

“The development of our strategic vision was done in a collaborative manner across many constituencies,” said Hobbs. “We represent the State of New Jersey, and as the B1G Ten’s New York metropolitan area program, we intend to compete for championships at the conference and national level. This is much more than a declaration of aspirations, it’s a pathway to future success. It brings focus to our student-athletes, our coaches and staff, our alumni and our fans. We have great momentum and with Jersey grit and determination our best days lie ahead.”

“The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence” was composed via a thorough and introspective committee process chaired by Senior Associate Director of Athletics Ryan Pisarri. The strategic planning committee, assisted by consultant Steve Heisey, formulated and determined the content, which was shared and evaluated by student-athletes, staff, University leadership and supporters to ensure alignment with the values of Rutgers University.”

Although much of what is touched on in the plan seems like what should be typical expectations for any athletic department, there is one key takeaway that stuck out to me that has not always been a given at Rutgers. There is a clear plan in place and there is transparency in the pursuit to achieve it. While that also may seem like something that should be obvious, sadly that hasn’t always been the case at Rutgers.

The plan also boasts the implementation of two major new facilities into the daily lives of student-athletes: the RWJ Barnabas Health Athletic Performance Center set to open in July 2019 and the Gary & Barbara Rodkin Academic Success Center, with a scheduled opening date Of December 2020. This highlights the major progress occurring in improving upon the student-athlete experience at Rutgers and making it a more desirable place for future prospects.

Athletic Director Pat Hobbs has elevated the department in many ways since taking over in late November 2015. This plan outlines how he and the strategic planning committee envision building a successful future at Rutgers moving forward. Hopefully, it will be mostly achieved, elevating the perception and reality of Rutgers athletics to a far greater place in five years from what it is today.