University Strategic Plans
Northwestern University has undergone three strategic planning processes driven by the Vice President of Administration and Planning and the Planning team. Each plan, though different in its approach, has sought to advance Northwestern’s eminence as a national and global leader of education and research.
In order to develop NorthWEstern Will, the University's current strategic plan, the Planning team worked with the Provost to facilitate and manage the process by which the plan's framework, content, and recommendations were created. This process spanned two years, engaging students, faculty, staff, and alumni through discussions, focus groups, and workgroups. The workgroups were charged with developing recommendations for the strategic plan, and consisted of almost 150 individuals across the University community. More about this process can be found here.
Further information about the reports of the Highest Order of Excellence I and II and NorthWEstern Will can be found below.
Released to the Northwestern community in 2011, NorthWEstern Will builds upon the University's current strengths and focuses energies and resources on the most pressing issues that Northwestern is distinctively positioned to address. The We Will plan encourages Northwestern to achieve significant goals in four areas, or pillars, critical to the University's future:
- Discover - We will work together through research and innovation to create solutions to problems that will improve lives, communities, and the world.
- Integrate - We will, more than ever before, integrate student learning with experiences in the world beyond the classroom.
- Connect - We will close the gap between intentions and outcomes to connect individuals from widely diverse backgrounds and life experiences to a truly inclusive community.
- Engage - We will, through strategic partnerships, engage locally, nationally, and internationally to heighten our global impact for the greater good.
Additional information about the NorthWEstern Will planning process and the entire strategic plan can be found here.
Highest Order of Excellence II
Building upon the first installation of The Highest Order of Excellence, this strategic plan was released in 2004 and sought to identify broad, flexible ideas aimed at moving the University toward an overarching interdisciplinary vision. The plan recognized the value of an interdisciplinary approach to education and research, and intended to ensure Northwestern would be the university of choice for the most talented faculty and students years into the future. In order to achieve these goals, the plan laid out its vision in three parts:
- Faculty and the Creative Work Environment
- Students and the Environment for Learning
- The Enabling Infrastructure
The entire Highest Order of Excellence II strategic plan can be found here.
The Highest Order of Excellence I was unveiled to Northwestern stakeholders in 1997, laying the groundwork for Northwestern University to achieve dramatic success in the 21st century. To build upon previous achievements and further advance the University, the plan called for Northwestern to:
- Recognize the external challenges facing the University at the time
- Identify the underlying principles that would guide the University
- Reaffirm and adjust the University's sense of institutional identity
- Set specific strategies for guiding near-term advancement
The entire Highest Order of Excellence I strategic plan can be found here.