University President Morton Schapiro released the 2011 Northwestern Strategic Plan on Monday. The document outlines four main goals he and the administration hope Northwestern will achieve in the next 10 years. Provost Dan Linzer headed the initiative for the new plan, a document that was endorsed by the Board of Trustees.
"We look to you, the members of our community, to turn the plan into action by thinking creatively. It also challenges us to work collaboratively to enhance Northwestern’s position as one of the world’s great private research universities," Schapiro wrote in the plan's introduction letter.
The plan is divided into four parts: problem solving, experiential learning, community connections and global outreach.
- Discover creative solutions: This part of the plan focuses on Northwestern's progress in research, liberal arts and the performing arts. Specific points of interest here include Northwestern's focus in nanotechnology, international studies and theater. "Applied in practice, discovery at Northwestern translates into ideas, products, and organizations that make the world a better place for all," the plan says.
- Integrate learning and experience: The plan included technogically-based thinking like Northwestern-created mobile applications, creative uses for engineering and a focus on the university's global business degrees in countries like Vietnam and India.
- Connect our community: The university will place an emphasis on engaging alumni and Chicago area citizens, according to the plan. "Northwestern recognizes the importance of community gathering spaces for creating connections, sharing ideas, collaborating on projects, and cementing friendships," the text reads. "That recognition has led to an ongoing effort to create 'Third Spaces,' areas on campus for students to congregate other than where they sleep or attend class." The plan cites the Great Room as one example of a gathering place.
- Engage with the world: Northwestern will put an emphasis on global health and solar panel research. "Regardless of where we engage, Northwestern recognizes that we are there not only for our own purposes but also to help sustain those communities and to enhance the quality of life for their citizens," the text reads.
Although the plan does not include concrete goals, it is meant to provide an overview of which areas the university will place emphasis on in the near future.
"It provides a clear direction for how Northwestern will continue to advance strategically from our current position of strength to even greater national and international prominence," Schapiro wrote.
More to come.