Program Prioritization

In Fall 2015, NIU began a program prioritization process that will be critical to the growth of the university and our ability to deliver on our cornerstone goal of student career success. Its goal is to build a strong foundation for maintaining and improving the quality of academic and administrative programs across NIU, by assuring that our programs reflect our institutional mission and strategic goals. Program prioritization will help accelerate our ability to create stronger and more lasting connections across our “triangle” of students, faculty and the outside world.

Program prioritization has been employed by more than half of public universities in the United States. Consequently, these universities have used the assets redeployed through the process to reinvest in strong and growing programs and innovate through the development of new programs. The result has been enhanced program effectiveness and in many cases increased enrollment.

While program prioritization is a concept embraced by universities across North America and beyond, the details of its implementation necessarily vary from institution to institution.  At NIU, the prioritization process will be:

  • Inclusive of all campus stakeholders
  • Open and transparent
  • Facilitated by a coordinating team with diverse expertise
  • Guided by evaluation criteria developed by the entire campus community
  • Informed by data analyzed by and narratives created by program leaders
  • Inclusive of perspectives of faculty, staff, students and alumni
  • Conducted by two task forces whose members are nominated by their peers

The process itself will be thorough, comprehensive and data-driven. Much of the work of the task forces, as well as the data developed for the task forces to review and deliberate over, will be made available on this website, along with additional resources to help the campus community understand the process, the rationale behind the process and the intended outcomes.