September 02, 2010
NIU to set goal of most student-centered
public research university in Midwest
DeKalb, Ill. — NIU President John Peters today announced the creation of the Vision 2020 Initiative to guide the university through what he expects to be an era of tremendous change and uncertainty for American higher education.
“I think it is fair to say that the number of changes confronting us, and the magnitude and speed of those changes, is perhaps greater than at any other time in the past 50 years,” he told faculty, staff and students in his 11th State of the University Address. “In terms of student success and fiscal sustainability, the public university model of the 20th century no longer fits.”
The Vision 2020 Initiative, which Peters will chair, will create and implement a new vision for NIU: becoming the most student-centered public research university in the Midwest, and establishing strategic goals for the coming decade in areas of student, faculty and facility excellence.
A Vision 2020 Committee, drawn from across the campus, will set ambitious benchmark goals for such areas as graduation and student-retention rates; optimal university enrollment, in both size and composition; and the percentage of incoming students ranking near the top of their high school classes.
“Setting goals is just the beginning,” Peters said. “The committee will also be charged with developing strategies to reach those goals and identifying funding sources to meet our objectives. Our goals will be ambitious, and the benchmarks to which we hold ourselves will require us to stretch.”
Among the areas to be addressed by the plan are:
The new Vision 2020 Committee, which will be established by Thanksgiving, will issue its first report identifying strategic institutional goals by the end of the academic year. The committee will also be charged with tracking progress toward institutional goals and reporting back with annual updates to the university community. The success of the initiative is crucial, Peters emphasized, given the changing landscape of higher education.
Peters concluded by asking the entire university community to embrace the Vision 2020 Initiative.
“The Vision 2020 Initiative will take us on a journey that will define our institution for decades to come,” he said. “It will require all of us to join together, to work together, to move forward together…to help this great institution emerge even stronger in the years ahead.”
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Media Contact: Brad Hoey