Share Tweet Share Email

Vision 2020 working group examines the NIU Experience

July 14, 2011

This is the sixth and final in a series of articles offering a brief overview of the Vision 2020 working group reports.

Fans of NIU Huskies volleyball

The Vision 2020 Student Experience Working Group examined life outside of the classroom at NIU.

The Vision 2020 Student Experience Working Group was asked to analyze campus life outside of the classroom for NIU students and suggest ways to improve those aspects of the NIU experience.

The 12-member working group, comprised of faculty, staff, students and alumni, outlined a detailed set of recommendations in a report compiled as part of the Vision 2020 Initiative, NIU’s effort to become the most student-centered public research university in the Midwest by the year 2020. That report (and five others) is online and available for review and comment so that the university community can help define the path to that goal.

Members of the Student Experience Working Group benchmarked NIU against similar schools across the state and region to compare the quality of the non-classroom experience to that at other universities, and suggested improvements.

Recommendations from the working group included:

  • Ramping up marketing of intercollegiate athletics, specifically to encourage significant growth in the number of students attending athletic events;
  • Creating a database to better track and assess the number of students using (and their satisfaction with) career services, internships, job placement services and job placement events;
  • Developing a long-range facility maintenance and renovation plan for each residence hall;
  • Expanding wireless internet capabilities across campus;
  • Increasing usage of campus recreation facilities and improve the number and quality of those facilities;
  • Increasing student involvement in fraternities and sororities.

Each recommendation includes: justification for why it is important; specific steps required to carry out the recommendation; organizational or policy changes that might be required; budgetary considerations; a list of planning documents that might help guide the effort; and a suggestion as to which organizations on campus should be charged with approving and implementing work toward attaining the goal.

“The recommendations set forth in this report, and the others, offer a clear path forward,” said NIU President John Peters. “What we are looking for now is feedback from the NIU community as to which of these priorities should be treated as most important to help us set the course toward our future.”

The campus community can share thoughts on those issues by visiting the Vision 2020 website, where six of the seven reports (both full reports and executive summaries) are currently available for review and comment. Deadline for input is Friday, July 15.