Frequently Asked Questions

No. Sustainability in particular is present in multiple values—especially under Integrity (“excellent stewards of our communities, our resources, and our planet”). It is also clearly identified under Internationalization (“supporting people, planet, and prosperity. Our efforts at supporting wellbeing of individuals, groups, and ecosystems is important locally, nationally, and globally”). We on the RH2025 Steering Committee believe that excellence results from our success in the strategies that we’ll use to achieve it.

Absolutely not. Our shared understanding of Integrity specifically includes the phrase: “our institutional mission of quality education and research ” and, more significantly, the entire value of Inquiry articulates our support for the continued scholarly work and creative expression by students and faculty alike.

Both the vision and our mission statements use the more inclusive and expansive term “learner” to underscore the reciprocity of learning that emerged as important from the Grand Huddles and 2020 huddles. All of us in the GVSU community are both educators and learners, and it is the act of learning that centers all we do. We already have begun enrolling more adult learners than ever before, and the language of adult and continuing education more typically uses the word learner.

The majority of GVSU employees have been and will continue to be in positions with the title “faculty.” The teaching, scholarship, and service of thousands of committed and effective faculty remains at the core of what we do, and faculty positions are appropriately the largest segment of our workforce. Our success in the mission and vision depends on each and every faculty and staff member.

In addition to the central work of faculty teaching students in a well-developed and well-delivered curriculum, all of our employees are educators. All of our work touches and supports learners, and we are all concurrently learners ourselves. Our success in the mission and vision depends on each and every faculty and staff member.

The foundation of this institution’s curriculum has always been a liberal education, and it is essential that it remain so. Our value of Inquiry proclaims “our strong foundation of a liberal education.” Concurrently, we add great value to our students’ lives through our GVSU integration of that foundation with experiential, curricular, and professional-focused programs that provide the career-enhancing education that our graduates and other stakeholders seek and deserve.

A large part of our student population is actively engaged in seeking career skills and certifications that will help them keep, gain, and sustain meaningful and sustaining employment. Our approach to liberal education is professional training, too, in that the critically important skills that we emphasize (e.g., communication skills, critical thinking and problem-solving, information literacy) are exactly those that are among those rated as most valuable by employers. Concurrently, our value of Integrity specifically mentions the importance of our effort to “integrate the curriculum in professional contexts.” Our highly regarded and accredited professional degree programs remain ever more essential to our success because it is critical to our graduates’ success.

They are included! You will also notice that the word “undergraduate” is likewise absent from the values, but the lack of identification of each level of study is intentional. Master's degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and doctorate degrees—none of them are mentioned. Nor are students pursuing a certificate or badge. We very much mean it when we say that learning, for credit and degrees and for learning for its own sake, are “lifetime pursuits” (GVSU Vision). By trying to list all the specific ways in which lifetime learning happens is, in the view of most stakeholders, limiting, and counter to the philosophy of L3: learning never stops.

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.

Responses are based on input from stakeholder groups and steering committee conversations.



Page last modified July 28, 2021