Chapter 1 Vision, Mission, and Values Statement

A. Vision Statement

Grand Valley State University will become one of the nation’s premiere Carnegie classification “Master’s Large” institutions of higher education grounded in the tradition of liberal education. It will be recognized and acknowledged as a community of diverse, committed scholars engaged in collaborative, lifelong learning to achieve acknowledged academic excellence and positive community impacts. By focusing on the promotion of high quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs, the institution will be the university of choice for students and faculty alike and it will enjoy broad support for its innovative partnerships and initiatives that promote the physical health and the intellectual, social, environmental, economic, and cultural advancement of West Michigan, and ultimately, the advancement of the state, nation, and world.

B. Mission Statement

Grand Valley State University educates students to shape their lives, their professions and their societies. The university contributes to the enrichment of society through excellent teaching, active scholarship and public service.

C. Values Statement

At Grand Valley State University, we value:

Effective Teaching. Our highest priority is to offer outstanding teaching in all of our undergraduate and graduate programs. The teaching culture of Grand Valley State University is characterized by the continual development of excellence in the classroom, the recognition of multiple ways of learning, and the accessibility of faculty to students. In order to nurture the habits of intellectual growth, we seek to instill in our students curiosity as well as the love of learning. Students acquire new knowledge and explore its application through research, artistic expression, engagement with the local community and scholarly activity. We value the vigorous engagement of students in the classroom and other learning environments.

Liberal Education. Grand Valley State University is committed to providing each student a broad educational experience that integrates liberal learning with preparation for career or profession. Liberal education begins with encountering the great ideas of diverse traditions in the humanities, the visual and performing arts, the natural and social sciences and mathematics, and is an essential part of all of our professional programs. We value the liberal ideals of critical thinking and preparing students for lifelong learning. The practice of liberal learning develops the skills of inquiry and reflection, which guide students to think for themselves, gain self-knowledge, and make ethical judgments. Such learning can inform individual and collective actions and prepare students for the responsibility of local, national, and global citizenship.

Scholarship. Scholarship is an essential component of the university’s mission as an institution of higher learning. Excellence in teaching at the university level depends upon active scholarship by faculty members. Through basic and applied research, artistic expression and performance, and other forms of scholarship, faculty members contribute to the development and application of knowledge, and create a dynamic environment for learning. Active scholarship may include collaboration of faculty and staff with students, business and labor, government, and community organizations. In this way, the benefits of a liberal education and specific disciplines can extend beyond classroom walls to lifelong learning and partnerships between the university and its diverse communities and the greater community.

Service. Grand Valley State University values the collaboration of faculty, staff and students with external partners in addressing mutual interests and regional needs. The university offers the communities it serves resources and inspiration in their own lifelong pursuit of knowledge. Faculty and staff are encouraged to contribute their expertise and service to the university, their disciplines’ professional organizations and working in partnership with the community. Students are encouraged to be active citizens, to become active service providers, and to take part in various service learning and volunteer opportunities in the community and abroad.

Inclusiveness. Possessing and mastering a range of thoughtful perspectives is necessary for open inquiry, a liberal education, and a healthy community. Recognizing this, Grand Valley seeks to include, engage, and support a diverse group of students, faculty and staff. The institution values a multiplicity of opinions and backgrounds, and is dedicated to incorporating multiple voices and experiences into every aspect of its operations. We are committed to building institutional capacity and strengthening our liberal education through providing an inclusive environment for all of our Grand Valley constituents.

Community. A range of thoughtful perspectives is necessary for open inquiry, liberal education, and a healthy community. Recognizing this, we seek and welcome a diverse group of students, faculty and staff. We value a multiplicity of opinions and backgrounds and seek ways to incorporate the voices and experiences of all into our university. We value our local community and embrace the participation of individuals and groups from Michigan, the nation and the world. We also encourage participation in educational opportunities abroad. In order to foster a healthy and diverse environment, we will act with integrity, communicate respectfully, and accept responsibility for our words and actions.

Sustainability. Grand Valley State University values the guiding principles of sustainability in helping to meet the current needs of our faculty, staff, and students without compromising the needs and resources of future generations. We are committed to working with our community partners to create a sustainable future for our university, our community, and our region. We will model applied sustainability best practices in our campus operations and administration, education for sustainable development, student involvement, and community engagement by promoting social responsibility, encouraging environmental stewardship, and creating efficiencies and value for the work we perform. We will provide our students with excellence in education for sustainable development by imbedding theory, systems- oriented thinking, and service learning into our curricular and extracurricular programs.

D. Commitment to Inclusion and Equity and Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy

Grand Valley State University is committed to inclusion and equity, and strives to establish a climate that welcomes and affirms the contributions of all students and employees. The University is guided by values for inclusiveness and community which are integral to our mission to educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies, and to enrich the community through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service. The University strives to provide all members of its community an inclusive environment and equitable opportunities for success.

The University is also committed to maintaining a climate conducive to an educational, living, and employment environment that is free from unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination, as well as those defined by this policy. All members of the community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. It is neither the purpose nor intent of this policy to infringe on the First Amendment or academic freedom as defined by the University.

The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution, consistent with its obligations as a federal contractor. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. It is committed to protecting the constitutional and statutory civil rights of persons connected with the University.

Members of the University community, including students, employees, faculty, staff, administrators, Board members, consultants, vendors, others engaged to do business with the University, candidates for employment or admissions, and visitors or guests have the right to be free from acts of harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct, as defined by this policy. In accordance with applicable federal and state law and this policy, acts of discrimination or harassment by members of the campus community are prohibited if they discriminate or harass on the basis of age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex/gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, veteran or active duty military status or weight. This includes inappropriate limitation of, access to, or participation in educational, employment, athletic, social, cultural, or other university programs and activities. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. Limitations are lawful if they are: directly related to a legitimate university purpose, required by law, or lawfully required by a grant or contract between the university and the state or federal government. For the purposes of this policy, sex-/gender-based harassment includes sexual misconduct, sexual assault, interpersonal or relationship violence, and stalking. 

Page last modified March 10, 2017