NIU sharpens vision; adopts new mission

HLCThe journey Northern Illinois University undertook during the past six months to revise its institutional mission and vision is over, as the Board of Trustees approved the university’s new vision and mission statements during its regular business meeting on May 10.

“This is an extremely challenging task – putting a university as diverse and large as NIU into a single statement of vision and mission that enjoys such widespread support throughout the campus,” explained Cherilyn G. Murer, chair of the NIU Board of Trustees, commending the work of the Mission Update Task Force and the many committees that participated in the process.

The Mission Update Task Force appointed by NIU President John G. Peters convened its first weekly meeting in January and met three additional times to prepare a draft of an updated mission statement, which also included a statement of vision and institutional values.

The first draft of the NIU Vision and Mission Statement was presented at the March 1 Board of Trustees meeting where the members of the Board provided feedback. The Mission Update Task Force met at the end of the month to make final revisions on the Statement of Vision and Mission before it was sent to the Academic Planning Council and the University Assessment Panel for endorsement in April.

Peters praised the work put into the statement, noting, “I’ve served at several major public universities across the country, and it’s fair to say that I have never seen such devotion, diligence and dedication to process as I have seen this spring as our Mission Statement Update Task Force, chaired by Professor Doris Macdonald, and the numerous shared governance committees, including this Board of Trustees, worked tirelessly to develop the statement before you today.”

“This new statement of vision and mission is particularly timely as we embark on the process of self-study for reaccreditation by the Higher Learning Commission,” said Macdonald.  “One of the criteria by which we will be evaluated by the HLC is in how our mission is articulated and how it guides the institution’s daily operations and strategic endeavors.”

Chair Murer praised the quality of the new mission and vision: “I, for one, am proud to include our former several page single-spaced mission statement in our university archives and move forward today with a concise, thorough, well-done statement that will serve us well for decades to come.”

“Our vision is exemplified in so many ways throughout our Vision 2020 Initiative—to be the premier student-centered, research-focused public university in the Midwest, contributing to the advancement of knowledge for the benefit of the people of the region, the state, the nation and the world,” Peters added.

“This statement is clear and comprehensive–an assertion of what we are and what we aspire to be–and will guide the reaccreditation self-study committees as they undertake a thorough analysis of the work of the university.  I’m grateful to the Board of Trustees for their input and for their validation, in today’s action, of the hard work of a committed task force,” concluded Macdonald.

NIU Statement of Vision and Mission

The vision of Northern Illinois University is to be the premier student-centered, research-focused public university in the Midwest, contributing to the advancement of knowledge for the benefit of the people of the region, the state, the nation, and the world.

With this vision, the mission of the University is to promote excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry, and outreach and service.

In pursuing our vision and fulfilling our mission, the University values:

  • A community of diverse people, ideas, services, and scholarly endeavors in a climate of respect for the intrinsic dignity of each individual
  • Access for a broad spectrum of students to high quality undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs that prepare them to be lifelong learners and productive, socially conscious citizens
  • Engaged teaching and learning that evolves from the synergy of research, artistry, and service
  • Research and artistry in creating, transmitting, expanding, and applying knowledge
  • Student success supported through academic and co-curricular programming and activities
  • The application of current technology in enhancing and broadening all institutional endeavors
  • A system of shared governance that incorporates input from faculty, staff, and students in decision- and policy-making
  • Commitment to a public purpose addressing regional, state, national, and global challenges and opportunities
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