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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 Intellectual Eminence and Impact
  • Identify and strengthen key intellectual areas
  • Continue to support interdisciplinary initiatives as we build upon areas of existing strength
  • Enhance faculty experience so that we can continue to be an intellectual destination for scholars
Strengthen Research Excellence
  • 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—have a healthy, supportive, inclusive environment to be able to thrive during their time at Northwestern
  • Emphasize support for first-generation, low-income, marginalized and/or underrepresented minority students
  • Provide engaging research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students
Elevate Global Academic Reputation and Presence
  • Develop new comprehensive Global Strategy for Northwestern
  • Increase global engagement with a new model of international partnerships and collaboration
  • Strengthen global interdisciplinary scholarship and opportunity
Improve Organizational Excellence
  • 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.