Veterans Support Initiative
In 2016, a group of Northwestern leaders were interested in formally exploring ways to better support and serve veteran students, in follow up to a 2013 Student Affairs study that examined this population. Around the same time, several administrative leaders voiced interest in exploring Northwestern’s current efforts to recognize and support Northwestern staff, faculty, and alumni veterans. Thus, in fall 2016, the Veteran Support Initiative was launched to explore current support provided to student, faculty, staff and alumni veterans.
The Committee and Work Groups, consisting of faculty and staff from across the university, worked to: gain a deeper understanding of existing services and programs at Northwestern; identify gaps in veteran support and programming; and make recommendations for how the University can improve support of these constituencies. The overall structure for this initiative is depicted below:
Data were collected from multiple sources and stakeholders, and yielded a rich set of findings and underscored the fragmented and sometimes uneven support that is currently provided to military‐connected students, faculty, and staff. Three overall themes were pervasive across the data and highlight notable gaps in supporting these populations:
- Lack of Coordination (across administrative offices and units)
- Desire for Stronger Community
- Challenging Culture
The Committee and Work Groups identified several recommendations to address notable gaps in support and meet the current needs of military‐connected students, faculty, and staff:
- Organizational Structure and Roles
- Communication and Education
- Support Services and Events
- Operations and Polices
Currently, key recommendations presented in the report are being reviewed, prioritized and explored for implementation. More information including access to the final report, executive summary and appendices is forthcoming.