The Vision 2020 Initiative came a bit more into focus today with the release of six reports that measure how Northern Illinois University stacks up against a cohort of similar institutions on dozens of criteria.
“These reports will help us chart the course of NIU, from where we stand today, toward our goal of becoming the most student-centered public research university in the Midwest by 2020,” said NIU President John Peters, who announced the Vision 2020 Initiative in his State of the University speech last year.
The reports were posted online to provide faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the university an opportunity to peruse the findings and review the recommendations made by each working group.
“We didn’t pull any punches in these reports. As you read through them you will see where we excel, and the areas where we currently fall short,” Peters said. “I am looking to the campus community for suggestions on how to build upon our strengths, improve upon our weaknesses and set a course for the future.”
Reports in six subject areas are available for review:
- Academic Programming
- Facilities and Environment
- Faculty Work, Excellence and Rewards
- Regional Impact, Outreach, Engagement and Graduate Education
- Student Experience
- Student Recruitment, Retention and Success
Executive Summaries and the full reports from each of those groups can be found on the Vision 2020 website. To comment, click on the Contact Us link in the upper left corner of the page. A seventh report, regarding Sustainability, is still being developed and will be available for review at a later date.
Peters and other members of the Vision 2020 steering committee are looking for feedback regarding:
- Overall reaction to their findings;
- Any gaps you see in their work – metrics that were overlooked or areas that should be examined;
- Your ideas on which of the indicators in each area we should make the focus of our efforts going forward.
Input from the website will help shape plans for the execution of Vision 2020. Specifics will be the focus of President Peters’ State of the University address Thursday, Sept. 1. Later that month, he will offer the blueprint to members of the Board of Trustees for their endorsement.
“The steps that I will outline at that time will be based on these reports and the input provided by the campus community. Those elements will comprise the foundation upon which we will build our Vision 2020 Initiative. Many challenges lie ahead, but with a clear vision of where we want to go, we can succeed,” Peters said. “You can be heard. You can help shape this process. Please share your thoughts with us.”