A Strategic Plan for Johnson & Wales University


Johnson & Wales University has come a long way from its roots as a small, local business school, but we have never lost sight of our founders’ focus to provide students with an excellent education that fully ignites their potential. In recent years, we have evolved from a world leader in culinary and hospitality education to a comprehensive university providing opportunities in a wide breadth of industry-relevant disciplines. Today’s Johnson & Wales University offers an excellent, educational experience to students across a diverse spectrum of programs that are designed to prepare our graduates to make meaningful and immediate contributions in their fields of choice. Through PURPOSE 2024, we will continue that evolution and embrace our standing as a university that supports every student's journey to fulfilling their academic potential, professional ambitions, and personal aspirations.

PURPOSE 2024 builds upon past strategic plans and sets clear goals for the future to ensure that we attract and retain well-regarded faculty and staff, recruit high-performing and ambitious students, and promote a culture across the university that takes pride in fostering student success, scholarly excellence, and institutional efficiency.

Through the success of this strategic plan, Johnson & Wales University will be known as an innovative and comprehensive university that prepares students for careers and leadership in a wide range of industries.


  • Offering excellent academic programs across a broad range of disciplines from the undergraduate level to the doctoral level
  • Promoting and embracing a teacher-scholar education model that centers on experiential education and applied learning
  • Supporting and encouraging faculty scholarship and research
  • Building a student body comprised of individuals with diverse academic interests and career goals
  • Providing students with a robust, dynamic campus and university experience

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Chancellor Runey


Core Areas of Focus


Johnson & Wales University is powered by a belief that every student deserves a high-quality education that can prepare them for success in a meaningful career. Through PURPOSE 2024, the University will take intentional steps to embrace a teacher-scholar model, strengthen the student experience, and celebrate scholarship and research.  Guided by our plan, we will nurture an academic culture that embodies discovery, creativity, and intellectual curiosity. Our faculty will foster adaptable thinkers, professionalism, and the quest for lifelong learning. Our focus on academic excellence will position the University to attract and retain well-prepared students with diverse and successful academic journeys.

Group of students in science lab gathered around experiment


Since its founding in 1914, Johnson & Wales University has been powered by its connection to industry. Through PURPOSE 2024, we strive to strengthen existing and establish new partnerships. We will be recognized as a premier provider of professional studies and corporate training, expanding our linkages with industry leaders and professional organizations in support of faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Students presenting in front of large screen


PURPOSE 2024 recognizes that while a focus on financial responsibility is essential to maintain a strong institutional foundation, the people and human capital within the organization are the bedrock of every lasting institution. Through PURPOSE 2024, we are focused on sustained and long-term success to achieve strong operating results and fiscal sustainability. We are committed to investing in our core mission and delivering a high-quality educational experience.

Student studying on lawn in Gaebe Commons


Johnson & Wales University, at its core, is powered by the people who make an impact for our students and alumni. Through PURPOSE 2024, we will bolster a campus culture that takes pride in what it means to be a Wildcat, and we will be purposeful in our external storytelling to ensure that all audiences recognize the impact Johnson & Wales University has on local economies, civic culture, and industry.

Students hang lanterns at Ignite the Night