Phase 1: Identifying Emergent Patterns

The vision for Grand Valley in 2025 will emerge from consensus around shared values and our common mission.

Still, some momentum is evident in some key areas—both building on the “essence” of GVSU and its particular strengths as well as on opportunities that continue to emerge. Some of what may emerge for Grand Valley in 2025 includes a strong reputation for:

  1. A high-quality learner centered education that integrates a liberal education foundation with experiential learning and focused professional training with career- and life-connected skills. Learners possess agency of their own learning which is available over a lifetime.
  2. A new equity that provides opportunities for learners who have historically been excluded from higher education. This equity includes access to degree programs, high-impact learning experiences, career enhancement, and lifetime learning with equitable outcomes through enhanced opportunities, new supports, and unparalleled experiences.
  3. Resilient graduates who are prepared to lead and succeed through change in their careers and communities.
  4. Opportunities that serve learners when and where they are – leveraging our multi-campus and digital opportunities.
  5. A university and learners that are agile and embrace a growth mindset aligned with a future of rapid change.

Revised November 23, 2020


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.


Grand Valley State University values excellence in all aspects of its enterprise. Our students' levels of performance in learning, scholarship, and community service; our stewardship of resources; our regular assessment and refinement of instructional and operational processes; and our shared dedication to excellence compel us to strive for exemplary and responsible outcomes in all that we do. Within our academic community, we individually and collectively celebrate our successes and the difference our commitment to excellence makes to individuals and communities in West Michigan, the state, the nation, and the world.

Grand Valley State University values honesty, fairness, and openness in its actions, transactions, and communications. Our emphasis on integrity compels us to respect and teach the fundamental tenets of a liberal education which remain central to our identity and reputation. We moreover value the incorporation of ethics into critical thinking and decision making institution-wide. The value we place on integrity underscores our intention to be trustworthy, dependable, and adhere to legal and regulatory requirements; we aspire to set an example for others in our words and actions. Our stakeholders and the public can count on Grand Valley to make wise decisions and carry them out transparently and with fidelity to the university's mission and vision for its future. As members of the Grand Valley community, we hold ourselves accountable to each other, the institution, and the broader public that we serve.

Grand Valley State University values inquiry, which encourages the lifelong pursuit of knowledge to improve the human condition and expand our understanding of the world. Consistent with our historical commitment to liberal education, we invest our resources to promote intellectual growth, creativity, scholarship, and critical thinking in our students, our faculty and staff, and the communities we serve. We promote global education and an internationalization of our curriculum that celebrates and encourages intellectual exploration, open discourse, and the unfettered expression that characterizes the academy. We celebrate and promote freedom of speech as foundational to the creation and dissemination of knowledge in every discipline. We are committed to learning as a means of preparing individuals for academic success, meaningful careers, and exemplary community service.

Grand Valley State University values all identities, perspectives, and backgrounds and is dedicated to incorporating multiple voices and experiences into every aspect of its operations. We believe that diversity competencies are an intellectual asset and that a range of thoughtful perspectives and a commitment to open inquiry strengthens our liberal education tradition. We recognize that the long-term viability of the institution depends upon anticipating and meeting the needs of emerging constituent groups, especially our changing student body. Therefore, the institution seeks to include, engage, and support diverse groups of students, faculty and staff members, as well as community members. Grand Valley is committed to strengthening our living, learning, and working environment by recognizing and removing the barriers to full participation and providing a safe, inclusive, vibrant community for all.

Grand Valley State University values its connections to, participation with, and responsibility to local communities, West Michigan, the state, the nation, and the world. We value the collaboration of faculty members, staff members, and students with external partners in addressing mutual interests and community needs. The university offers the communities it serves resources and inspiration in their own lifelong pursuit of knowledge. Faculty and staff members are encouraged to contribute their expertise and service working in partnership with communities. Students are encouraged to take part in various service learning and volunteer opportunities in their communities and abroad. To foster and expand these community connections, the institution and its members promote, value, and honor diverse perspectives.

Grand Valley State University values the guiding principles of sustainability in helping to meet the current needs of our faculty members, staff members, 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, our region, our state, our nation, and the world. We model applied sustainability best practices in our campus operations and administration, education for sustainable development, student involvement, and community engagement by promoting social responsibility, practicing fiscal responsibility, and encouraging environmental stewardship. We 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.

Grand Valley State University encourages and appreciates innovation. We value entrepreneurship and integrative interdisciplinary collaboration that solves local, regional, and global problems and advances the common good. We strive for the development of innovative products, systems, and services that contribute to improvements in the wellbeing of individuals and our world. We trust that scholarship and the new knowledge it produces are worthy of our investments in their creation and proliferation. We manage our resources and structure our university to encourage new ideas, creativity in all its forms, and novel approaches to answering the most important and challenging questions of our time.