Since the presentation of the draft Mission, Vision, and Values to the university community in April, the RH 2025 co-leads and steering committee made minor changes to those statements based on feedback and input. The major changes in the M/V/V from January to April reflected significant response to input and feedback from hundreds across GVSU and beyond. Those specific changes are detailed on the How We Got Here webpage.

Three Strategies from an Original Five

Building on the Values, Vision, and Mission, the co-leads worked with members of the RH2025 steering committee and the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to shape recent drafts of these strategies. Informing these efforts were the five commitments that President Mantella presented to the campus community in her inaugural address in November 2019. Those 2019 commitments were derived from the thousands of discrete input statements through the series of scores of Grand Huddles in Summer/Fall 2019. Those Nov. 2019 commitments can be reviewed in Dr. Mantella’s address, re-printed in the GV Magazine.

It has been our intention to keep to relatively few strategies for the university in the coming years. Fewer strategies means we can focus on priorities that will transform our institution in positive ways, are truly aspirational, and are also things we can achieve if we put our minds and energies together. Concurrently, we are intentional about leaving the strategies open enough such that each and every member of our community can help shape them and live them as best they can. There’s room for everyone to climb aboard.

Spring/Summer 2021 Versions

Several deans and campus leaders had already shared the [previously four] draft strategies with their colleagues by the time we sent them to GVSU staff and faculty on 30 June 2021. Thus, formal and informal feedback has been solicited and collected for several weeks. In the weeks since sharing the draft in June, we’ve also heard from many more voices, especially faculty and some staff. The co-leads have listened carefully to the feedback and suggestions on the four strategies and have been working with the SLT and the Steering Committee on additional revisions. We are now eager to share the very latest version with the entire community.

Context for the Strategies

As you read the latest draft please consider that they have evolved, over the past two years, from the 2019 Grand Huddles, with input from hundreds or even thousands of students, faculty, staff, and community members. They emerged from President Mantella’s November 2019 Commitments, which in turn emerged directly from you. You have helped shape these strategies.


Mission, Vision, and Values statements are the institution’s public declaration on why we exist, who we are, and what we aspire to do. There are many audiences. The same goes for our strategies. At the same time, we very intentionally have crafted them to speak to learners: especially future learners—learners who’ll join GVSU, help shape us as we help them shape themselves, and continue to be engaged GVSU learners the rest of their lives. The rest of our lives.

Curriculum is and will continue to be the purview of expert faculty scholars. At the same time, we will invite and honor student involvement in the process of shaping educational opportunities. Students already do have countless choices in shaping their own learning; they select from scores of degree programs, many minors or certificates or badges. They have countless internship, practicum, study abroad, student organizations and other co-curricular experiences from which to choose. What we are committing to do is to be much more intentional about starting from that learner perspective and be genuine in valuing it from the beginning.

What it will look like for GVSU learners will be shaped by all of us as we move forward. Having developed but evolving degree programs, as well as a vibrant universal undergraduate general education program does not permit full student autonomy. Yet even in programs informed by professional accreditation or licensing outcomes, students have a multitude of choices: options for areas of emphasis, choices of experiential or cooperative placements, course- or program- research projects. Faculty will still be the leaders in designing syllabi, assignments, courses, and programs to support student learning. But we will invite student voices to that work; the learning opportunities will evolve and improve with their input and involvement at every stage in the process. To the extent possible, students will be guided in their choices and options on their own educational pathways.

We are at the strategy stage. Tactics, and the necessary resourcing to achieve our goals, comes next. As we finalize Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for ourselves, we must of course allocate or re-allocate the personnel or other resources to position ourselves for success.  As we succeed, additional resources should become available, too—whether through additional students or external support.

When colleagues read in our June draft that “everyone is guided by their own personal board of advisors” they raised concern about hiring more professional advisers to the staff. While that remains an area of need for supporting students, the intention was to see ourselves and others as part of the essential support network every learner needs and deserves to be successful. We already aspire to this. For example, Professional Support Staff (PSS) hire, train, supervise student employees; more importantly, however, these staff colleagues mentor students. Internship supervisors on and off-campus teach, mentor, and advise our learners. The language of a network of advisers and mentors is intended to underscore the great importance we all have in teaching, advising, and mentoring students—and one another. We’ve aspired to this our entire careers; now we’re spotlighting its importance even more.

Page last modified November 29, 2021