On February 11, 2013, the U. S. Maritime Administrator, David Matsuda officially approved the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy's Margin of Excellence Needs List: 2013. The list is closely tied to goals of the Academy's Strategic Plan which strives to enhance academic excellence through cutting edge programs, creating a more dynamic campus culture, providing sound leadership and creating a first class infrastructure.
"We are very pleased that the Academy has an updated needs list. The new list is geared toward Academics, Midshipman Life and Athletics. Improvements in these areas positively impact our programs and greatly enhance the overall midshipman experience," said Rear Admiral James Helis, Ph.D., superintendent.
Helis launched the Academy's "Strategic Plan 2012-2017" at a Town Hall meeting with Academy midshipmen, faculty, and staff in August 2012. He emphasized that it is an Academy priority to move forward immediately on the recommendations of the Strategic Plan.