Strategic Positioning


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 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.


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.


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.


Grand Valley State University values its connections to, participation with, and responsibility for local communities, the West Michigan region, the state, the nation, and the world. The university embraces the participation of diverse individuals, groups, and organizations from every corner of the globe and both encourages and supports the participation of its students, faculty, and staff in educational opportunities abroad. To foster and expand these community connections, the institution and its members promote, value, and honor diverse perspectives. We seek to act with integrity, communicate openly and honestly, and accept responsibility for our words and actions.


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. 

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action

Grand Valley State University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. 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.

Unlawful acts of discrimination or harassment by members of the campus community are prohibited. In addition, even if not illegal, acts are prohibited if they harass or discriminate against any university community member(s) through inappropriate limitation of, access to, or participation in, educational, employment, athletic, social, cultural, or other university activities 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 status, or weight. Limitations are lawful if they are: directly related to a legitimate university purpose, required by law, lawfully required by a grant or contract between the university and the state or federal government, or addressing domestic partner benefits.

Page last modified August 12, 2013