Reach Higher 2025 is Grand Valley's community effort at identifying and articulating common values and goals surrounding our shared work — both building on the “essence” of Grand Valley and its particular strengths, as well as on opportunities that continue to emerge. We are not “starting from scratch,” in building toward how we will see success in 2025; rather, we are using the tremendous awareness and momentum of our university community and stakeholders, as well as salient strengths and opportunities learned in the past 18 months.

Reach Higher Together Engagement

Since Fall 2019, President Philomena V. Mantella has engaged internal and external stakeholders in Reach Higher Together, an effort to ensure Grand Valley draws on everyone's abilities, talents, and creativity to reach higher together and accelerate our bold vision to activate the full community to lead the change in the fast-changing world of education. On Wednesday, December 4, 2019, President Mantella convened the participants of the Grand Huddle Series, the Grand Survey, and those who contributed their thoughts and ideas via the thought boards located on each campus and in each regional center. The audience consisted of faculty, staff, and students who asked questions and engaged in dialogue with President Mantella, as she reported the findings and feedback garnered from this three-month-long exercise.

word cloud summarizing themes from the Reach Higher Together huddles on the essence of the university
word cloud from Reach Higher Together huddles on opportunities for the university

Reach Higher 2025 Steering Committee

In Winter 2021, President Philomena V. Mantella charged an inclusive steering committee with leading the development of the Reach Higher 2025 strategic framework. Tara Bivens, benefits manager, Human Resources; Mark Schaub, dean, Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies; and Janet Winter, associate dean, Kirkhof College of Nursing, were appointed co-leads. The committee included eight representatives from the University Academic Senate, student and staff representatives, presidential fellow appointees, and liaisons to the enrollment, digital, and equity parallel planning efforts. Chris Plouff, interim provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs, and Jesse Bernal, chief of staff to the president and vice president for inclusion and equity, served as executive sponsors.

Reach Higher 2025 represents the complex aspirations of Grand Valley’s faculty, staff, students, and community partners. These stakeholders asked for a plan that respected our foundation while driving toward bold new opportunities. The planning process included 24 steering committee meetings; 18 student, faculty, staff, and alumni huddles; 8,000 engaged stakeholders, which resulted in more than 150,000 total comments received.

The work of the steering committee concluded with the endorsements of the University Academic Senate, Student Senate, and AP Committee in January 2022. Learn more about the steering committee.


Page last modified February 24, 2022