NIU President John G. Peters today unveiled a new Vision 2020 Initiative website that allows faculty, staff, students and the public to follow progress made toward university goals in a wide range of areas, including student success, student recruitment, academic enrichment and faculty research.
“This website holds us accountable, because as time goes by, one will be able to see quite easily where we have met or surpassed our goals,” Peters said during a meeting of the NIU Board of Trustees. “If we have fallen short, that will be clear as well.”
Visitors can peruse seven categories and about 20 different goals or indicators in areas deemed essential to the university’s quest to become the most student-centered public research institution in the Midwest.
Areas tracked on the website include enrollment, graduation rates, retention rates, student success, average freshman ACT scores, engaged learning participation, percentage of students graduating with honors, growth in online-degree programs, faculty-staff diversity and faculty-secured research dollars.
Data over time will not only show progress made toward each goal but also document ongoing efforts to reach desired outcomes.
The website could be expanded in the future with more benchmarks, Peters said.
“As the process continues to unfold, we may decide to highlight other indicators from the (Vision 2020 working group) reports as well, or perhaps even new benchmarks that emerge as even better indicators of what we are trying to measure,” he said.
The goals include enrollment growth to 30,000 by 2020, attracting more high-performing students and increasing the university’s dedication to hands-on learning that prepares students to be leaders after college.
More than 100 faculty, staff, students and alumni had worked on the initiative, benchmarking NIU against similar universities around the region and across the country and then devising the goals.