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The University’s Strategic Plan, Northwestern Will, provides a framework in which to define our shared goals. University leadership has identified the following set of University Priorities that are grounded in the pillars of Northwestern’s Strategic Plan and will guide our institutional investments.

University Priorities

Our priorities are guided by University values:

  • Commitment to faculty, and to excellence in research, scholarship, creative work, and teaching
  • Commitment to freedom of expression
  • Commitment to rigor and empathy anchored in our values
  • Commitment to student experience and diversity and inclusion
  • Commitment to balancing Northwestern’s present and future needs

Our priorities are to:

  • Enhance the University’s Intellectual Eminence and Impact
    • Identify and strengthen key intellectual areas
    • Continue to support interdisciplinary priorities as we build upon areas of existing strength
    • Enhance faculty experience so that we can continue to be an intellectual destination for scholars
  • Continue to Build Research Eminence
    • Grow research funding support across all our schools
    • Grow research in key intellectual and interdisciplinary areas
    • Invest in research infrastructure
    • Enhance innovation and entrepreneurship through building and sustaining a vibrant ecosystem
  • Support the Student Experience
    • Ensure all students—undergraduate and graduate—can thrive during their time at Northwestern, with particular emphasis on supporting first generation, low income, and underrepresented students
  • Enhance Global Academic Reputation and Presence
    • Implement the recommendations from the work of the Global Strategy Task Force
    • Lead global engagement with an intellectual agenda that focuses on research themes
    • Build the University’s global brand, reputation, and presence
    • Strengthen global interdisciplinary scholarship
  • Strengthen the Enabling Support for Our Ambitions
    • Improve the organization and alignment of people, processes, policies, and systems to support the core work of our faculty, students, and staff
    • Recruit, develop, and retain the next generation of leaders
    • Foster leadership talent, enhance staff engagement, and become an employer of choice
    • Continue to enhance relationships in Evanston, Chicago, state, region, and the world
    • Continue our successful comprehensive campaign to help provide the necessary resources for our ambitions


Following is information about ongoing initiatives within the Office of the Provost which engage across the whole University to Discover, Integrate, Connect and Engage, and which reflect our commitment to the above priorities.