Our Core Values: Inquiry, Care, Integrity, Agency, Interconnection


san francisco university high school

Our Design

Our strategic design positions UHS to be a national leader in shifting school culture.

Our strategic design charts the school’s direction for the next era, building on a legacy of excellence while remaining institutionally reflective and continually poised to respond to our changing world.




To better fulfill our vision and express our values, we have identified the following eight strategic paths:


Design a more integrated academic program that encourages collaboration, mirrors the realities of the evolving world, considers the latest research on adolescent development, and builds on the strength of our highly regarded liberal arts and sciences curriculum.

Inspiration: There is a widely shared sense of lost opportunity to connect the student experience across departments and programs at UHS. It is essential that our students find meaning in the intersections among academic disciplines in order to become effective problem-solvers and thought leaders. A clear articulation of a shared inspiration for what drives the evolution of our entire program, along with creative oversight, are necessary to build the most dynamic and relevant curriculum.


Proactively address the increasing complexity of living in the Bay Area to insure that we continue to attract and support the most talented, diverse, and innovative faculty and staff.

Inspiration: Challenges in recruiting and retaining excellent faculty have reached crisis levels across the country, and independent schools are not immune to the scarcity of talent. Although UHS faculty salaries remain competitive among our peer schools, we believe that the faculty and staff at UHS are our most valuable asset and that aggressively investing in their well-being will continue to have a far-reaching and exceedingly beneficial impact on the culture and program.


Develop facilities that respond to immediate, evolving, and expanding program needs and that support community connection.

Inspiration: University’s multi­-block campus both enhances and challenges the experience of our students and faculty. The adjacencies of our spaces and programs are awkward, travel time for athletics is excessive, and space devoted to supporting community is inadequate, inhibiting opportunities for greater connections and presenting logistical hurdles and time constraints for our students.


Significantly lower the barriers that limit access to UHS so that we can enroll the most motivated, engaged, and diverse student body from all corners of the Bay Area.

Inspiration: We know that deep learning depends upon a rich diversity of backgrounds and perspectives in each classroom, yet we remain too “need aware” in our admission practices. By increasing our financial and cultural capacity to support every qualified student, we will be closer to achieving our mission.


Enhance and expand programs, structures, policies, and practices to ensure that UHS provides a dynamic and challenging education while simultaneously promoting wellness, care, and the wholeness of each individual.

Inspiration: UHS is not immune to the culture of perfectionism that exists in the best independent schools, stemming from both the high motivation of the people who choose to study or work here and the external world—including the increasingly competitive college admissions process and our complex global economy. It is the school’s responsibility to equip our students with the competencies, literacies, and skills they need to thrive in this demanding context.


Reimagine our use of time to support a healthy pace and workload for our students, faculty, and staff.

Inspiration: We share a sense that our days are too full, too fast, and too fraught with various demands and worry. Our current assessment practices, schedule, and calendar result in waves of work—first for students, and then for teachers. The schedule does not allow for meaningful collaboration, connection, reflection, and integration of our program. Given that time is the most precious and potentially malleable resource we have, we want to ensure that our core values are expressed through our calendar and daily schedule.


Align the UHS culture around a shared set of core values consistent with creating a transformational educational experience for our students.

Inspiration: In order to ensure the achievement of the outcomes outlined in this strategic direction document, our school must develop a deeply ingrained set of principles that will guide our actions and serve as an essential component in filtering and prioritizing the myriad educational ideas, initiatives, and approaches that merit consideration during this dynamic era of school reform. These principles will serve as “cultural cornerstones” for our student, faculty, parent/guardian, and alumni community.

8. Ensure

As we face the next half-century of operation, the Board has a significant opportunity to leverage our talents, assets, and sound strategies to ensure financial durability throughout the organization.

The funding of depreciation on our physical plant, minimizing tuition increases, compensating an experienced workforce in one of the most expensive regions of the country, and committing to access through a competitive financial aid program all compete for our precious resources. We know that these tensions require leadership and sound decision making and we believe that the campaign should reflect these values.