Share Tweet Share Email

New mission, vision and values statements formally adopted by Board of Trustees

March 19, 2019

NIU strategic planning will now be guided by a new set of formal statements about the university’s mission, vision and core values.

Following three months of work by a faculty and shared-governance committee and a campus-wide survey, the new statements were formally approved by NIU’s Board of Trustees earlier this month.

“At this critical point in the life of our university it is important for us to clearly articulate our guiding principles,” said NIU President Lisa Freeman.  

“We have just completed a strategic enrollment management plan and will soon be creating new financial and facility master plans as well as a research cluster strategy. All of that work needs to reflect our mission and values, and everyone needs to be able to see themselves in it,” she added.

Co-chaired by Operating Staff Council President Holly Nicholson and Presidential Commissions representative Shanthi Muthuswamy, associate professor in Engineering Technology, the Mission Review and Revision Working Group spent four, two-hour meetings taking apart the statements and constructing updated versions. A penultimate draft was shared with the campus via a survey and reactions were worked into the final draft.

“I’m very pleased with the outcome of the working group and the quality of the final statements,” said President Freeman.  

“Our mission is what we currently do; our vision is what we aspire to do or be, and our values tell the world what we care about and what guides our work.  I think the new statements are more closely aligned with the current culture and course of the university,” she said.  


NIU’s vision is to be an engine for innovation to advance social mobility; promote personal, professional and intellectual growth; and transform the world through research, artistry, teaching and outreach. 


The mission of NIU is to empower students through educational excellence and experiential learning as we pursue knowledge, share our research and artistry, and engage communities for the benefit of the region, state, nation and world. 


In pursuing our vision and fulfilling our mission. we value and practice:   

Curiosity and creativity:   

  • We provide our students active learning experiences. 
  • We champion innovation.  
  • We commit our resources to supporting students, faculty and staff in their research, artistry and professional development.  

Equity and inclusion: 

  • We seek and are strengthened by the diverse perspectives and experiences of our university community members. 
  • We use an inclusive decision-making process.   
  • We appreciate and respect every member of our community. 

Ethics and integrity: 

  • We prepare our students to become global leaders who work to build a better society. 
  • We model ethical behavior in and out of the classroom. 
  • We are transparent and accountable to our stakeholders. 

Service and stewardship:

  • We serve society and confront local, national and global challenges through collaborations that improve our learning, teaching and research. 
  • We make accessible the knowledge and resources we create.  
  • We promote our students’ success through advising and mentoring. 

A printable version of the updated vision, mission and values statements is available online.