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University leadership has identified the following set of University Priorities that are guided by our values:

  • Commitment to faculty, and to excellence in research, scholarship, creative work, and teaching
  • Commitment to student experience
  • Commitment to balancing Northwestern’s present and future needs
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion

Our University priorities are to:

Continue to move the University forward during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Work to bring all students, faculty, and staff back to campus as quickly as possible with the highest priority on the health and safety of all in the University community
  • Leverage current opportunities for restructuring to better position Northwestern for post Covid-19 pandemic eminence
  • Work with deans, senior leaders, and faculty now to develop and refine current and post pandemic strategic priorities
Enhance our intellectual eminence and impact
  • Broaden academic excellence across the University
  • 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 scholars
  • Enhance Northwestern's global academic presence and reputation
Continue to build our research eminence
  • Grow research funding support across all of 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
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 campaign to help provide the necessary resources for our ambitions


The Provost Office Strategic Priorities are to:

  • Continue to make progress on addressing the University's strategic priorities; focusing on making Northwestern a institution in which all students, faculty and staff can thrive
  • Successfully lead the University’s academic enterprise through the COVID-19 pandemic crisis
  • Lead the University’s efforts to create a culture of access, belonging, and accountability through the work of the Office of Equity, the Office of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion, and other University areas and initiatives
  • Continue to support and build leadership strength across the deans and faculty
  • Further develop a collaborative and strategic approach to supporting and enhancing Northwestern’s global presence
  • Further develop the capacity of the Office of the Provost to serve as a strong resource for the for supporting the work of all faculty, students, and staff
  • Lead execution of the University's resource allocation process, guided by the principle of balancing current and future needs to ensure that the University has a balanced budget by the conclusion of FY21

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.