On Wednesday, University of Central Florida’s athletics director Danny White unveiled the program's strategic plan for the next five years.
The internal document, The Knights’ Charge, will serve as a guide for the athletics department to commit to several school goals, including an expansion of UCF's brand as a "college town" throughout a 12-mile radius, implementing a new academic policy that penalizes student-athletes for missing classes, and creating new revenue generation sources.
"When I arrived at UCF, I felt it was important to implement a strategic plan to help guide us," White said in a press release. "As I've said for the past year and a half, we plan to be aggressive and we aspire to be a top 25 intercollegiate athletics program."
White's vision is to also enhance UCF’s visibility and reputation in sports on a national level by gaining the recognition of becoming “Orlando’s Hometown Team.”
The plan details five priorities for UCF Athletics, with each priority carrying goals associated with it. The five priorities are student-athlete success, resources, branding and messaging, competitive success and culture.
Student-athlete success focuses on creating professional opportunities for student-athletes, not just on the playing field. The goal is to improve the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of student-athletes at UCF, which is already the highest in the nation at 94 percent for public FBS colleges.
A new class attendance policy, if violated, could result in student-athletes missing 10 percent of scheduled athletic contests. Additionally, a new rule would require all walk-ons to have at least a cumulative 2.75 GPA in order to participate in athletics — part of a goal to maintain a 3.2 GPA across UCF's 15 sports each semester.
The resource's priority focus is on enhancing partnerships and revenue to provide student-athletes and coaches with the best possible facilities and equipment. Among the new revenue generation campaigns is to develop a facilities rental business model and increase ticket sales and donations by transitioning to a "per seat giving model in all sports."
Branding and messaging is about national recognition of the UCF name as an industry leader and providing a unique game day experience while staying true to the culture. That culture includes recruiting and retaining high-talent athletes with strong characters.
All of this ultimately leads to the priority of competitive success of UCF athletics. The major goal within this category is to win championships.
The plan creates several committees and steering groups that will focus on ensuring the university sticks to the plan and achieves the goals.
“The Knights' Charge gives us a map to follow as we continue building toward that goal," White said. "With the support of our great university, fan base, and the Orlando community, we can achieve our vision."
The Knights’ Charge is the result of a year-long project that will serve as the compass to UCF Athletics until 2022.
Originally published July 7, 2017.