Values, Vision, Mission & Strategies

January 2022 Draft Statements

This draft represents a snapshot of the current working document of the RH2025 Steering Committee. We are actively working on several parts of the document, especially the framing of the strategy: Empowered Educational Experience.

Please note:
1. We are generally satisfied with the Values statement, and understand most of the community to likewise be satisfied as well. Therefore, we have not changed the Values in this update.
2. We have added a second part to the mission statement, nearly verbatim from the second sentence of our current (2016-21) Mission.
3. We have altered many other passages significantly, taking direction for many of the changes from the input we received in October.


We start with our shared values

Inquiry that encourages active questioning and problem solving to improve lives and strengthen communities. Building on our strong foundation of a liberal education and commitment to teaching excellence, we strive to provide opportunities that integrate theory and practice towards personal transformation and career success. Active scholarship, expression, and relevant co-curricular experiences drive learners towards fulfillment, prosperity, and justice.

Inclusive and Equitable Community that fosters and sustains a sense of belonging, promotes diversity and respect, and addresses systemic issues that impact outcomes for those who have been historically excluded from higher education. Inclusion and equity are experienced through our physical campuses and in digital environments, as well as our interpersonal, institutional, and community engagements.

Innovation that puts ideas into practice, drives us towards excellence, and represents our forward-thinking mindset. We value entrepreneurship, risk taking, and interdisciplinary collaboration that solves local, regional, and global problems and advances the common good.

Integrity that drives us to be accountable to ourselves and to others. Integrity moves us to actively pursue and sustain quality educational experiences rooted in research and evidence, and to be excellent stewards of our communities, resources, and planet.

International Perspectives that simultaneously support people, planet, and prosperity. We think and act on a global basis. Our efforts at supporting the well-being of individuals, groups, and ecosystems are important locally, nationally, and globally—all of which are interconnected and interdependent.


GVSU will prepare globally minded citizens for the future they face and the communities they shape.  Our community of educators will create and employ innovative approaches to liberal education and professional programs that center on and prepare students for a lifetime of continual learning and growth.


At GVSU, we empower learners in their pursuits, professions, and purpose. The University enriches society through excellent teaching, active scholarship, advancement of equity, and public service.


At Grand Valley, we will 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’re a part. We will consider each and every member of our educational community a learner, each one of us at different stages in our educational pathway. We are committing to helping students discover their passion and guiding and supporting them along the way.

Leading that effort will be our expert faculty members, who develop the curricula that our students need for mastery of their chosen academic directions.

Strategy: Student agency and success will always drive our collective work. We will demonstrate this by prioritizing:

  • Continued moves away from a “one-size-fits-all” approach to students and toward an understanding of their individual needs, motivations, and goals that is actively supported by faculty and expert staff
  • Expanded flexibility for students to learn when, how, and where they learn best; this will be coupled with appropriate support for faculty and staff to be able to adapt to those changes while continuing to provide quality educational opportunities
  • Relevant programs full of learning opportunities that can be applied to the pressing concerns and problems of communities and the world
  • Deeper and broader experiential learning for all students that includes internships, practica, cooperative placements, global learning, and more
  • Strong integration of liberal education with professional education; this fusion will particularly reflect students’ digital literacy, technological proficiency, and leadership development
  • Collaborative research, scholarship, and creative expression between students and faculty members that brings them together in partnership and models lifelong learning and pursuit of new knowledge
  • Personalized assistance to students to identify and develop a network of mentors and advisors from among the faculty, staff, employment supervisors, alumni, and community members that form the extended GVSU learning community
  • Community engagement practices that demonstrate reciprocity of learning
  • Progressive expansion of high-demand programs that are rigorously designed and reflect the integration of liberal education and professional education

From our first encounter with learners, we will strive to provide innovative curricular, co-curricular, and experiential learning opportunities. At GVSU, our approach to teaching and learning will continue to integrate liberal and professional education in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary ways, and will be directly relevant to the communities and world our graduates will shape. The liberal education approach of the undergraduate curriculum will provide a foundation for how to learn, and how to apply that learning, in leadership roles and amidst diverse communities.

With our support and guidance, lifetime learners will shape those communities while they are students as well as across the rest of their lifetimes. Our faculty will model the passionate pursuit of lifetime learning through cutting-edge research, scholarship, and expression. We will pursue reciprocal relationships with alumni and community partners to create sustainable and supportive learning networks. Concurrently, our programs and educators will encourage students to generate ideas on how they can be enterprising in their learning, especially in ways that enhance their communities and workplaces.

Strategy: Design and leverage learning opportunities for students of all stages in their lives and careers, meeting their needs where they are. We will succeed at this through:

  • Championing a strong foundation of liberal education that engenders the mindset and skills to advance students’ education across a lifetime; the liberal education will always be integrated with experiential, practical, and professional educational opportunities that propel all in our learning communities to positive effect in society and the larger world
  • Developing beneficial and supportive connections between and across all those in the larger GVSU learning community, including future and currently enrolled students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members
  • Increasing flexibility for students in terms of pace and engagement with curricular components; this may include additional terms across the calendar year, more summertime, online, low-residency, and on-demand selections
  • Attracting our traditional-aged FTIAC student population and supporting them in learning across their lifetimes while also providing more and attractive options for adult learners
  • Building strategic institutional partnerships to scale our impact, expand our reach, and better serve diverse groups of learners (e.g., community colleges, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges & Universities, etc.)

We will embrace our role as a leader in urgently advancing equity for all learners. Together, we will ensure that our community serves as a catalyst toward a more just and sustainable world -- both on our campuses and beyond. We will work to eliminate disparities and obstacles for student success, especially those that have historically been along lines of race, gender, class, and social structures.

Strategy: Center equity and inclusion for a more diverse learning community. We will achieve this through:

  • Removing systemic barriers to educational access, retention, and persistence
  • Developing and establishing university policies, practices, systems, and culture that will demonstrate our institutional accountability to diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and total well-being for all community members
  • Recruiting, empowering, and retaining a diverse student body, faculty, and staff
  • Appropriately acknowledging that GVSU exists on the land of the Anishinaabe peoples—the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Bodéwadmi —and commits to increasing the visibility of Anishinaabe people among its students, faculty and staff, its curriculum, and its cultural programming
  • Incorporating environmental, human and economic factors toward global and societal vitality that advance beyond our current award-winning sustainable practices