Division of Academic Affairs Strategic Plan

This strategic plan was developed through a collaborative process in 2022 and 2023. This document complements the university’s Reach Higher 2025 strategic plan and it guides the work of the Division of Academic Affairs for the next several years.


A sustainable and equitable university powered by inclusive education and engaged scholarship.


We empower learners – through scholarship-informed practices, experiential education, and deep community engagement – to contribute to a sustainable society.


We cultivate lifelong curiosity, creativity, and open inquiry through conversation and collaboration.

We believe that education is an individual right and a social value to support democratic equality.

We center our practices in equity-minded, just, and transparent approaches.

We prioritize the success, sense of belonging, and well-being of all GVSU community members.

We honor experiences, expertise, voices, and perspectives of all.


student kayaking

Empowered Educational Experience

At Grand Valley, we center students in everything we do. Education is an intrinsic value for the learners themselves, as well as the public good for the wider communities of which we are part. We commit to helping students discover their passion and guide and support them along the way. Leading these efforts are expert faculty members who develop the curricula our students need for mastery of their chosen academic directions.

We will use the following strategies to advance this commitment:

  • Nurture curricular and co-curricular opportunities so students advance through student learning objectives in order to develop knowledge, skills, dispositions for success.
  • Inspire students to find their purpose and pathway in order to care and act – alongside others – with a future focus.
  • Create experiential and real-life learning opportunities to enable lifelong learning and application of knowledge.
  • Equip students to think and act on global basis through experience with people of other cultures and nations.
  • Model collaboration, individually and collectively; collaboration across colleges and divisions and rewarding successful collaboration.
  • Foster a sense of community care and development for our students, faculty, and staff; this includes focused hiring, retention, and employee review practices.
  • Support and enable faculty and staff in developing, applying, and engaging with pedagogical advances to empower student learning.
Graduation Cap

Culture of Educational Equity

We intrinsically value diverse forms of learning and foster high-impact, equitable practices that enable all students to learn. We integrate liberal and professional education in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary ways. We foster equitable learning environments inside and outside of the classroom.

We will use the following strategies to advance this commitment:

  • Identify and address the institutional barriers to academic success to promote the academic success of all students.
  • Address institutional barriers to full participation in curricular and co-curricular activities.
  • Expand our teaching and support capacity to equitably serve all students.
  • Foster a culture of equity and inclusion to support and retain diverse faculty, staff, and students.
Outside classroom

A Lifetime of Learning

From our first encounter with learners, we strive to provide innovative curricular, co- curricular, and experiential learning opportunities. At Grand Valley, our approach to teaching and learning continues to integrate liberal and professional education in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary ways, and it is directly relevant to the communities and world our graduates shape. The liberal education approach of the undergraduate curriculum provides a foundation for how to learn and how to apply that learning in leadership roles and within diverse communities. With our support and guidance, lifetime learners shape those communities while they are students, as well as across the rest of their lifetimes. Our faculty model the passionate pursuit of lifetime learning through cutting-edge research, scholarship, and expression. We pursue reciprocal relationships with alumni and community partners to create sustainable and supportive learning networks. Our programs and educators encourage students to generate ideas on how they can be enterprising in their learning, especially in ways that enhance their communities and workplaces.

We will use the following strategies to advance this commitment:

  • Engender a lifelong learning mindset through liberal education. Develop beneficial and supportive connections between and across all those in the larger GVSU learning community.
  • Build flexibility to meet the various needs of learners.
  • Build strategic institutional partnerships to scale our impact.
  • Model and support lifelong learning for faculty and staff.
research on bees

Scholarship, Research & Innovation

We will create a supportive environment where research, scholarly, and creative activity are high quality experiences that are understood and valued by all. We value all forms of inquiry and scholarly endeavors. We model being teacher-scholars by engaging in cutting-edge scholarship to inform our practices. We foster creative, innovative approaches in all aspects of our work. We cultivate our capacity for local and global impact.

We will use the following strategies to advance this commitment:

  • Research, scholarly, and creative efforts, and contributions are visible, impactful, and valued.
  • The hiring, mentoring, and promotion of faculty is consistent with the teacher-scholar model inclusive of a continuum of contributions based on strengths, aspirations, and stage of career.

Updated September 2023

Page last modified October 16, 2023