FY 2022 University Goals

Annually, NIU's president and the Board of Trustees agree to a series of goals for the president and university, along with metrics to measure success in achieving those outcomes. The 2022 goals were approved at the November 18, 2021 Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees. Previous years' goals for 2019, 2020 and 2021 are also available.

View Detailed 2022 University Goals (PDF)    View 2022 Goals (Text only, Word)

These AY 2021-22 (FY22) goals, created in alignment with NIU’s mission, vision and values, are organized according to the six themes presented in our Strategic Action Planning Framework. They are future-focused with both annual and multi-year objectives, consistent with our need to position NIU for long-term success while continuing to address present challenges such as the continued disruption caused by COVID-19.

The goals reflect feedback from across the university community. There is tremendous Huskie pride in our accomplishments and our unwavering commitments to all aspects of NIU’s mission. However, faculty, staff and students also recognize that our operating environment is changing, and the university must evolve to respond to new external challenges and ensure long-term success and sustainability. In this context, we will continue to move forward together by establishing shared goals and holding ourselves accountable. In doing this work, we will strive to increase alignment, enhance strategic resource planning and leverage relationships as resources.

  1. Build capacity for shared leadership across the university to inspire innovation and foster a less risk-averse culture. Accomplish this by:

    • Empowering cross-functional teams to address complex institutional problems and pursue opportunities that align with NIU strategic priorities.
    • Leveraging partnerships and collaboration to support team-based work directly related to university goals.
    • Providing team members with professional development designed to foster shared leadership and accountability.
    • Recognizing and celebrating the success we have already achieved through shared leadership.
    • Increasing access to information (e.g., forums for brainstorming and sharing successes and failures, improved data-sharing and decision support)
  2. Continue to implement key recommendations developed by FY21 shared leadership initiatives related to remote working and administrative efficiency project prioritization.
  1. Continue to grow and stabilize NIU enrollment by attracting new students and improving retention rates for continuing students, guided by strategies and targets presented in updated SEM plan as well as related equity plans. Maintain focus on closing equity gaps in retention rates and graduation rates.
    • Employ and adhere to health and safety measures that combat the spread of COVID-19 so that NIU can maintain our in-person campus experiences that attract students and enhance their success.
      • Meet preliminary enrollment target for AY2022-23.
    • SEM Plan 2.0 for FY23-25 is to be delivered to campus in February 2022 and expected to include the elements below. The NIU Board of Trustees will be updated about the SEM Plan 2.0 goals, strategies and objectives at its March 2022 meeting.
      • Plan and launch a re-enrollment campaign that targets students who “stopped out” of NIU over the past five years, emphasizing students who did not persist from Spring 2021 to Fall 2021.
    • Develop appropriate advising and academic services to support the retention of students who have gaps in their attendance at NIU.
    • Pursue equity goals articulated in our Higher Learning Commission Quality Initiative Proposal (HLCQIP) and Illinois Equity in Attainment (ILEA) Equity Plan to increase student success by removing structural barriers, adopting appropriate strategies from other partners such as Every Learner Everywhere.
    • Complete the launch of Student Financial Advising Services.
  2. Partner with Braven to offer NIU students additional opportunities to build skills, confidence, experiences and networks, thereby enhancing their potential to transition to strong first jobs.
  3. Use lessons learned from COVID to make our student experience more equitable and engaging.
    • Launch and successfully complete a national search for VP Student Affairs.
    • Revise Student Code of Conduct guided by recommendations that emerged from the FY21 review, and develop shared framework for an innovative restorative justice practice and process between social justice education and student conduct.
    • Develop and launch a long-term plan to revitalize Greek life at NIU in collaboration with the NIU Foundation, as well as Greek alumni and students representing the Interfraternity Council (IFC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), Panhellenic Association (PHA) and United Greek Council (UGC).
  1. Continue efforts to identify and remove barriers that inhibit transdisciplinary scholarship and curricular innovation and experimentation; provide positive incentives to faculty, departments and other units to pursue transdisciplinary scholarship and curricular innovation (could include enhanced grad funding, post- doc fellowships or visiting assistant professorships and/or enhanced operating budget through streamlined curriculum).
    • Support ongoing work of task forces empowered during FY21 to mitigate barriers to transdisciplinary scholarship and curricular innovation as they produce analyses, recommendations and plans for implementation. Provide groups with professional development focused on shared leadership.
    • Support aspirations of Faculty Senate Social Justice Committee to review and reassess tenure and promotion processes, annual faculty evaluation and the environment for early-career faculty (Note: overlap and synergy with Goal 4B and 4C).
    • Empower, support and incentivize teams to develop transdisciplinary initiatives in the areas of social, racial and ethnic inequities, environmental justice, STEM education and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), encouraging them to frame research questions with multiple lenses and seek to address inequitable conditions. Resultant projects will generate transdisciplinary opportunities for student engagement and learning and could include cross-disciplinary coursework, credentials, capstone experiences for both graduate and undergraduate students, extended research opportunities for students and proposals for academic programs that intersect with these themes. (Note overlap and synergy with Goals 4C and 5B).
  2. Complete assessment of graduate student programs and experience using metrics developed during FY21 to measure alignment with NIU mission; allocate and reallocate resources accordingly.
  3. Review and refresh strategy for developing and marketing online programs to expand degree and credential opportunities available to non-traditional age students, to improve service to the incumbent workforce and to help students succeed in the workplace of the future. Leverage lessons learned from COVID-19 response and employ appropriate approaches cited in Illinois Board of Education (IBHE) strategic plan to ensure academic programs meet the needs of region and state.
  1. Create a Shared Equity Leadership (SEL) model for NIU that will support our efforts to make meaningful and lasting changes in university policies, practices and structures that promote and sustain inequity.
  2. Establish Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center at NIU with funding received from the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) subaward funded by Wiley Education Services. (Note: overlap and synergy with Goal 3A and 4C).
  3. Increase the recruitment, hiring, retention and professional advancement of diverse faculty, staff and administrators, using an approach that continues effective practices and introduces innovative strategies and tactics.
    • Continue effective practices.
    • Support aspirations of Faculty Senate Social Justice Committee (FSSJC) to review and reassess tenure and promotion processes, annual faculty evaluation and the environment for early-career faculty (Note: overlap and synergy with Goals 3A and 4B).
    • Expand the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Post-doctoral/Post-graduate Fellowship program that was established by the NIU Division of Academic Diversity Equity and Inclusion and the NIU Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships with the goal of creating a pipeline to diversify the faculty workforce. Seek applicants with perspectives and expertise that will enhance transdisciplinary scholarship at NIU in the areas of social, racial and ethnic inequities, environmental justice, STEM education and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) as described under Goal 3A and 5B.
  1. Advance development of the Northern Illinois Center for Community Sustainability (NICCS) and the surrounding west campus acreage.
    • Continue to develop and position NICCS as NIU’s hub in the Illinois Innovation Network.
    • Advance vision for west campus by expanding upon the conceptual branding plan and establishing Phase One of an implementation plan for west campus.
  2. Support selected transdisciplinary work inspired by either the planning process for NICCS or the previous call for Emerging Research Initiatives, specifically transdisciplinary initiatives in the areas of environmental justice, STEM education and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) that frame research questions with multiple lenses and seek to address inequitable conditions. Such initiatives can include research, scholarly and creative activities as well as community engagement. The university expects to invest in three initiatives over three years. (Note overlap and synergy with goals 4C, 3A and 5C).
  3. Elevate community collaboration and engagement as key elements of NIU’s innovation ecosystem and evidence of the university’s commitment to our students, region and state.
    • Strengthen community-engaged scholarship infrastructure (multi-year goal).
    • Strengthen and celebrate meaningful community partnerships that demonstrate collaborative practices of mutual benefit and reciprocity and a high level of understanding of knowledge assets, cultural wealth and strategic outcomes.
  1. Continue to refine and implement a multi-year, comprehensive planning and budget process.
    • Continue to engage the BoT in a quarterly process to communicate the status and progress toward identified budget milestones and targets.
    • Focus on the following initiatives to increase NIU’s progress toward increasing vendor diversity and expenditures under the Business Enterprise Program (BEP) Act, 30 ILCS 575 and Illinois Procurement Code as amended by Senate Bill 1608 (the Economic Opportunity bill signed March 23, 2021, by Gov. Pritzker).
    • Empower a cross-functional team(s) to develop a transparent, inclusive university budget planning process as part of shared leadership development.
    • Provide more actionable data and decision support to the university community to help members understand decisions and inform actions. Approach to be informed by APLU Commission on Information, Measurement and Analysis (CIMA) resources, and the NIU success to date with enrollment, course outcome and diversity data in Tableau. Prioritize key initiatives that include continued implementation of Academic Performance Solutions (APS) as decision tool in academic affairs, dashboards related to faculty/ staff diversity to inform workforce planning strategy and affirmative action plan compliance, and a student enrollment forecast that can inform decision making at key points throughout the fiscal year. This is a multi-year goal.
    • Continue to pursue opportunities to expand joint purchasing and shared services to control and reduce institutional administrative costs as outlined in the IBHE strategic plan.
  2. Resume campus master facilities and technology planning efforts.
    • Advance facilities planning priorities (e.g., NICCS, Health Information Technology Center [HITC], Human Resource Services [HRS] relocation, sale of Hoffman Estates facility) in the context of continued efforts to align physical footprint with evolving academic priorities, changed economic conditions and resumed emphasis on master planning.
    • Technology planning priorities including telephony project and learning spaces technology deployment.
  3. Transition from the planning phase to the launch of the initial fundraising phase of a multi-year, comprehensive strategic fundraising campaign.
    • To prepare for and complement the campaign’s initial phase.
    • Officially launch the initial campaign phase, the focus of which will be principal and lead gift identification and solicitation, by July 1, 2022.

Contact Dr. Freeman

Office of the President
Altgeld Hall 300
815-753-1271
president@niu.edu

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