Officials look for student feedback to revise mission and value statements
DeKALB ­— In a schoolwide email sent Jan. 29, NIU announced its intent to revise the current university mission, vision and values statements. 
An advisory team, the NIU Mission Review and Revision Working Group, met to discuss proposals for updated statements. 
The team will be accepting anonymous feedback and suggestions from students regarding the statements through Friday.
Holly Nicholson, co-chair of the NIU Mission Review and Revision Working Group, said administrators felt an update to the existing statements was needed. 
She said the team has been discussing proposals with various faculty and staff and have considered many different outlooks for the update.
“It’s a great opportunity for NIU to differentiate ourselves,” Nicholson said. “We dove deep into what makes NIU special and how we can set ourselves apart from other universities, as well as using our mission, vision and values to inform all our strategic planning going forward.”
Nicholson said public commentary will be what forms the new mission, vision and values statements into the best version for NIU. She said all responses will be examined by the team.
“We’re really hoping students will let us know what their thoughts are,” Nicholson said. “We want this to be a message that inspires everybody that’s part of the campus community and for it to be something they can use in their everyday work, whether it is teaching, supporting or learning.”
Most important to Nicholson are the revised statements’ potential to mean something to all individuals in the campus community.
She said the application goes beyond serving the university’s needs.

“Really, we want people to feel that they can adopt [the statements] themselves as something that becomes part of them — something they can live out here at NIU,” Nicholson said.

Kelly Poplar, senior business administration major, said the group’s proposed statements exemplify NIU’s community goals.

“These types of values will help NIU outside of the classroom,” Poplar said. “The inclusiveness aspect will help bring out pride in being a Huskie.”

Specific areas of attention in the proposed statements also garnered student support.

Sophomore English major Katryna Weingart said the new statements address curiosity and creative development, which she believes could benefit many at NIU.

“As students, we can get so into our academics that we can forget to have a creative outlook and do stuff for ourselves because we’re so invested in our education,” Weingart said.

Weingart also said the values of inclusion and respect command the most significance for the university. Minorities compose 45 percent of the student population at NIU, according to a fall 2017 student profile released on the university’s website.

She said this value in particular should be celebrated.

“For NIU specifically, being a campus that has such a diverse range of students, diversity and inclusion are very important,” Weingart said.

Economics graduate student Masud Alam said he thinks the proposed statements depict NIU as an institution centered around its students and research opportunities.

Alam, however, said he feels more attention could be paid to technological development, and changes to the statements themselves aren’t entirely necessary or timely.

“It’s not necessary unless NIU is going to enhance or change its leading academic or institutional plan in the coming days,” Alam said.