• Strategic Plan

    Boldly Reaffirming Our Mission
By 2026, University School will solidify its place as one of the best boys’ schools in the country, with an enhanced focus on academic excellence and on the development of character and leadership.
University School operations and offerings will be benchmarked against the country's top boys' schools.
The School will serve the most talented, motivated, and accomplished boys from throughout the region.

Through its published work, seminars, speaker series, and expert practice within US, the School will be recognized as a valued national resource on how best to educate the whole boy from Junior K to Grade 12.

  • The culture wherein each boy is known and loved will be welcoming and will foster belonging for all its students and families, hold them to high standards, and encourage fulfilling their potential.
  • Faculty and staff will be individually and collectively recognized as leaders in boys' education and in cultivating valuable, meaningful, and enduring relationships.
  • The world-class curricular program will build on the School’s rich 130-year history while educating boys for the future; will draw on pedagogical expertise and developmental sensitivity; and will include signature programs that define a US experience at each division.
  • The campuses will be flexible environments, built for boys, with state-of-the-art and state-of-the-science classrooms, laboratory, studios, and athletic spaces to give teachers and coaches the tools to do their very best work.

The School's financial sustainability will be assured by the intentional balance of revenue sources and expenses.

Our Key Priorities

    • 01.

      For Boys, By Design

Defining Excellence in Boys’ Education

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University School will be recognized nationally as providing world-class programming for boys in a diverse community by creating a uniquely supportive and inspiring place where boys can strive to be their best authentic selves. US aspires to:
  • Refine character and leadership development as cornerstones of the US education throughout the arc of boys’ development from Junior K-Grade 12;
  • Deliver a holistic approach to academic, athletic, extracurricular, social-emotional, and cultural programming at each level to help boys reach their full potential in becoming young men of character who lead and serve;
  • Articulate and deliver on the enduring potential and value of an all-boys education.


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    • 02.

      Cultivating Faculty

Setting the Standard in Exemplary Teaching

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US is first and foremost a school for boys during the critical years of their development into men, and all faculty and staff who work with our boys will exemplify excellence both in their disciplines and in their care for students. US aspires to:
  • Recruit a world-class faculty and staff and develop them further throughout their US careers;
  • Support faculty and staff through best-in-class compensation, professional development, healthcare, and benefits;
  • Implement clear, cogent, and consistent expectations and guidelines for ongoing professional growth and institutional excellence.


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    • 03.

      Known and Loved

Connecting our Community

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Broadening and deepening students’ world outlook means expanding the concept of “classroom” to embrace the culture, perspectives, and learning opportunities available in Cleveland and beyond. The US experience is designed to prepare students to engage with the world throughout their lives. US aspires to:
  • Foster a diverse and inclusive community in which each boy not only is known and loved but feels known and loved and held to high standards;
  • Recognize, promote, and grow the importance of incorporating diverse perspectives in curricula and programs and of the composition of its student, faculty, staff, administrative, volunteer, and decision-making bodies;
  • Provide opportunities for its students to support and nurture their life and career aspirations, their efforts outside the school, and their embodiment of our mission.


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    • 04.

      Intentional Environments

Constructing Superior Learning Facilities

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  • On two unique and distinct campuses, US can thoughtfully, meaningfully, and flexibly create environments to match boys’ learning needs at every stage of development.

    Boys at US are given the environment and tools to create – whether they are making art or solving real-world problems. The Shaker Heights campus – home to the lower and middle schools – is conveniently located in one of Cleveland’s most storied suburbs and has been an iconic landmark of the neighborhood for nearly 100 years. The campus features a 32,000 square-foot performing arts and science complex; a primary wing specially designed for young boys; a state-of-the-art wood shop; critical spaces for free play, physical education programming, and interscholastic athletics; and innovative design lab. The upper school in Hunting Valley features a 52,000-square-foot academic wing, over 200 acres of outdoor classroom to explore, and athletic facilities that are among the best in Greater Cleveland with a full range of spaces, playing fields, and other amenities to support physical education and athletic programs.


University School will provide an intentionally prepared educational environment with buildings, classrooms, and campus spaces that complement and enhance the School’s longstanding experiential emphasis and that support boys’ growth and learning across the Junior K-Grade 12 continuum. US aspires to
  • Modernize facilities that honor the School’s two campuses and its commitment to boys’ primary and secondary education, giving teachers the tools to do their very best work;
  • Enhance learning spaces that reflect the School’s commitment to a program of excellence in boys’ education;
  • Leverage and promote the attributes and strengths of our two campuses;
  • Use innovative spaces, technology, and the tools needed to continue to attract, retain, and inspire a talented, forward-thinking faculty and highly engaged students;
  • Ensure that our campuses support the academic, co-curricular, and social-emotional needs of all US students to enhance our distinctive philosophy of education.


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  • Transform the Shaker Heights campus to meet the School’s strategic priorities.

    Enhance safety and improve recreational play areas for the lower school by creating a compelling, versatile, and dynamic outdoor play area – including refurbished and expanded play fields. Expand and update the middle school learning spaces to match curricular programming and to culminate students’ Shaker Heights campus experience. Create flexible student common spaces for gatherings and exhibitions, as boys learn from one another as well as from their teachers. Update athletic facilities to provide unmatched arenas for students’ interests outside the classroom.
  • Use the Hunting Valley campus’ outdoor space more effectively and fully.

    Open up US to still more prospective students and families with on-campus admissions and community outreach events. Establish a faculty and student task force to examine the current and potential uses of the outdoor physical plant to maximize its integration into curricular programming. Continue the fifty-year tradition of Outdoor Projects at the upper school while also reimagining the Hunting Valley campus for curricular, cocurricular, and extracurricular experiences for all students Junior K-Grade 12.

    • 05.

      Economic Sustainability

Ensuring Long-Term Financial Resources

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To serve the broadest group of boys, while allowing US to develop aspirational plans for future generations of students, US will need to increase revenue outside of tuition while prudently managing the costs associated with its program. US aspires to:
  • Provide a sustainable program of excellence in boys’ education by maximizing the allocation and utilization of our natural, physical plant, and human resources;
  • Increase access for qualified boys from across Greater Cleveland to attend University School, regardless of their ability to meet tuition and fee costs;
  • Ensure financial resources that are sufficient and flexible enough to achieve our goals and support and advance the School’s mission.


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About Our Plan

This plan boldly affirms the School’s commitment to our mission and to enduring institutional values. Upon a time-proven and inviolable foundation, it lays out an aspirational road to and through the School’s future. When executed, it will secure University School’s place as one of the nation’s best schools for boys and will assure our long-term sustainability.

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  • Expand

    Our priorities are clear: to serve the most motivated, promising students from across the region in order to create a diverse school community pledged to a shared mission and vision; to develop a faculty energized by their surroundings and inspired by their students – teachers who are national leaders in their fields; to ensure robust and vibrant programming and state-of-the-art facilities; to solidify the financial resources to support the School’s aspirations.

    By intent and design, this plan is comprehensive, far-reaching, ambitious, even audacious. We are proud to share it now with the wider community, to have you all join in our enthusiasm for a freshly-envisioned future for University School.

    Richard R. Hollington III ’82
    President, Board of Trustees

    Patrick T. Gallagher
    Head of School

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  • The Strategic Plan Steering Committee

    This strategic plan culminates two years of spirited and ongoing dialogue among 35 members of a Steering Committee that included University School Directors, Trustees, parents, faculty, and administration. Seven sub-committees explored specific, identified areas of need; further research included focus-group discussions, extensive community surveying, national benchmarking, and demographic and financial analyses. The document bears the hallmarks of tremendous care, thought, and dedication.

    • William E. Oberndorf ’71
    • Patrick T. Gallagher
      Head of School
    • Richard R. Hollington III ’82
      Parent of Charlie ’18, John ’19, and Dickie ’22
    • Michael C. Adams ’83
      Parent of Connor ’13 and Trevor ’15
    • Lindsay Arnoult
      Director of the Middle School
    • Ralph R. Banks ’83
    • Thomas C. Barry ’62
    • Jennifer Rohan Beros
      Associate Head of School
      Parent of Michael ’21
    • Jonathan E. Bridge
      Assistant Head of School for Advancement
      Parent of Christopher ’22
    • James W. Brown III ’82
    • Durga Chigurupati
      Parent of Anuraag ’05 and Nehal ’20
    • Jennifer Coleman
      Parent of Cole ’20
    • Matthew V. Crawford ’87
      Parent of Colin ’19
    • William Daughtrey
      Director of the Upper School
    • John Fay ’93
      Middle School Dean of Students
    • John E. Feighan MD ’82
    • Ronald Hess, Jr. ’01
      Parent of Kyle ’27, Ryan ’29, Sean ’31, Simon ’36, and Trey ‘36
    • Whitney Haslam Johnson
      Parent of Hank ’29, Ross ’30, and Max ‘31
    • Joseph K. (Joe) Juster
      Parent of Hal ’15
    • James C. Kralik ’82
    • Nicole Lawrence
      Director of Community Partnerships
    • Sarah Lyon
      Middle School teacher
    • Tara Malbasa
      Parent of Joey ’28, Scott ’30, and Mikey ’33
    • Charles L. Myers ’94
    • Katie Outcalt
      Parent of Max ’22 and Will ’24
    • Amy Paine
      Parent of Andy ’16 and Charlie ’20
    • Lily Peyrat
      Parent of Dev ’22 and Digen ’28
    • Anthony J. Salewski ’93
    • Scott W. Seelbach ’93
      Parent of Thomas ’29
    • Neil Sethi
      Parent of Rohan ’23
    • David R. Smith ’80
    • Christopher E. Smythe ’78
      Parent of Doug ’06
    • J.D. Sullivan Jr. ’80
      Parent of Danny ’26
    • Steven J. Terrell ’75
      Parent of Jeff ’03
    • Marques D. Torbert ’02
    • Christina Townsend-Hartz
      Director of Admission and Financial Aid
    • Lisa Ulery
      Director of IT and Libraries
    • David Wright
      Finance Director
    • Photo

Shaker Heights Campus

20701 Brantley Road
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
Phone: 216-321-8260

Hunting Valley Campus

2785 SOM Center Road
Hunting Valley, Ohio 44022
GRADES 9 – 12
Phone: 216-831-2200
University School serves over 850 boys in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 on two campuses in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. The School’s mission is to inspire boys of promise to become young men of character who lead and serve. Dedicated faculty, rigorous curriculum, and experiential programs foster intellectual, physical, creative, and moral excellence. University School is a diverse and inclusive community where each boy is known and loved. 
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