Northeastern Illinois University, as a public comprehensive university with locations throughout Chicago, provides an exceptional environment for learning, teaching, and scholarship. We prepare a diverse community of students for leadership and service in our region and in a dynamic multicultural world.


Northeastern Illinois University will be a leader among metropolitan universities, known for its dedication to its urban mission, for the quality of its programs, for the success of its graduates, and for the diversity of its learning environment.


Northeastern Illinois University is committed to a set of shared values that, taken collectively, guides our actions and interactions as we work together to prepare graduates for the responsible exercise of civic participation. We, the NEIU community, believe it is critical for our democracy to create a space in which the commitment to these values results in a thriving educational community that transforms the lives of all. As we take stock of the present and look to the future, these values serve as the touchstone for planning how we will best achieve the educational mission entrusted to us.


NEIU is accountable to those we serve and to those from whom we receive support. We are committed to honesty, respect, and transparency in our words and in our actions. In that regard, we work to be good stewards of the resources we are entrusted to use. This includes human, physical, fiscal, and environmental resources.


In our pursuit of and commitment to excellence, we value the highest quality of learning and teaching, scholarship, and service. We value opportunities and experiences that support personal and professional development for all members of our community. In all that we say and do, we are committed to the process and products of excellence.

Access to Opportunity

NEIU values access to opportunity; we value a welcoming environment that provides appropriate support as well as encourages mutual responsibility for and commitment to learning.


NEIU values the inclusion of a broad spectrum of students, staff, and faculty in the life of the University. We celebrate and foster global perspectives. We encourage the open and respectful expression of ideas and differences in thoughts, experiences, and opinions.


NEIU strives to provide an environment that is supportive, nurturing, and participatory. Such an environment is characterized by civility, fostering humanity and engagement, and creates a sense of community through inclusion, mutual respect, and empowerment. NEIU values our metropolitan setting as a laboratory for learning, and we foster partnerships for learning, research, and service throughout this dynamic region to promote the public good.

Empowerment Through Learning

NEIU is dedicated to creating a culture that provides life-long learning opportunities for all members of the University community. We are especially committed to transforming students' lives by engaging them in an educational experience that empowers them to graduate with the skills and knowledge to effectively participate and lead in personal, professional and civic realms.

Strategic Goals and Action Steps

Strategic Goal One

Student Success: Advance student success from recruitment through graduation by engaging all members of the Northeastern community.

Action Steps

1.1 Increase the enrollment of both undergraduate and graduate students.

1.2 Increase retention and graduation rates for all students. Identify and implement high-impact practices for all students with a special focus on underrepresented populations.

1.3 Develop and implement strategies to support the transition and success of first-year and transfer students.

1.4 Conduct a comprehensive review of all academic advising services, and implement intentional, coordinated strategies that reflect national best practices in advising to increase student satisfaction and success.

1.5 Increase bicultural/bilingual support in the areas of admissions, enrollment services, financial aid, student affairs, and academic affairs.

1.6 Enhance the quality of service and communication to promote student satisfaction in all areas of the University with a focus on “points of entry,” such as admissions, financial services, enrollment services, the website, and other critical areas.

Strategic Goal Two

Academic Excellence and Innovation: Implement and support curricular and pedagogical best practices aligned with the mission of the institution, student needs, the standards of the disciplines, and career and civic engagement opportunities.

Action Steps

2.1 Develop a Statement of Objectives for the master’s degree, and explore adding the doctoral degree to the academic portfolio.

2.2 Implement and assess the University Core Curriculum.

2.3 Support, create, and sustain interdisciplinary courses and programs that lead to higher levels of critical, analytical, and integrated learning.

2.4 Focus on academic programs linked to regional economic development and workforce demands for the global society.

2.5 Support and create academic and professional development opportunities for students through internships, international study, research, service learning, and career services.

2.6 Enhance and expand academic offerings and resources at CCICS.

2.7 Integrate culturally relevant pedagogy and content throughout the curriculum.

2.8 Increase high-quality hybrid and online curricula throughout the University.

2.9 Prioritize resource allocation to learning resource centers and support centers.

Strategic Goal Three

Urban Leadership: Build upon Northeastern’s tradition of community partnership and engagement by collaborating with educational, social service, governmental, philanthropic, and business organizations in Chicago and the region.

Action Steps

3.1 Collaborate with local and regional schools, community organizations, and parents to vertically align knowledge, skills, and dispositions across K-12 schooling in order to prepare students to succeed at Northeastern or other postsecondary institutions.

3.2 Position and promote Northeastern as a leading Hispanic Serving Institution in the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Latino students.

3.3 Increase Northeastern’s presence across diverse urban communities through intentional marketing.

3.4 Encourage and support programs that expand understandings of our urban metropolis, with emphasis on our community partners.

3.5 Encourage and support programs and research that focus on contemporary urban issues, such as education reform, immigration, economic development, and the environment.

3.6 Enhance Northeastern’s marketing and public relations plan, inclusive of community outreach, to expand internal, local, regional, national, and international awareness of our urban leadership efforts.

3.7 Promote CCICS, El Centro, and CCAS as examples of Northeastern’s commitment to urban leadership.

Strategic Goal Four

Exemplary Faculty and Staff: Invest in and support faculty and staff to foster a nationally recognized urban university and create a thriving work environment that makes Northeastern an employer of choice.

Action Steps

4.1 Intentionally recruit and retain faculty and staff who understand and support Northeastern’s mission and the students we serve.

4.2 Enhance scholarship, professional development, and training for faculty and staff.

4.3 Use support systems and programs to build and foster a culture of mutual respect and collegiality across the University.

4.4 Provide ongoing professional development to support culturally relevant pedagogical approaches from new faculty orientation onward.

4.5 Increase collaboration and accountability across all units of the University.

4.6 Develop an effective application of shared governance at Northeastern.

Strategic Goal Five

Enhanced University Operations: Improve operating efficiencies, physical and technological infrastructure and systems, and environmental sustainability in order to provide a supportive learning, teaching, and working environment.

Action Steps

5.1 Ensure that all classroom, laboratory, office, student, and support spaces accommodate current needs and long-term growth.

5.2 Add a residential life component consistent with the mission of the University.

5.3 Invest in and implement technology applications and infrastructure to maximize academic and operational goals.

5.4 Establish environmental sustainability as a key element of Northeastern’s identity through green design and activities such as increasing recycling, reducing waste, conserving energy, and digitizing processes.

5.5 Streamline and redesign operational and financial workflows and processes to improve service quality and productivity.

5.6 Ensure the continued safety and security of the University; that all facilities and infrastructure, including technology and critical data, are protected; and that campus security and emergency preparedness are continually monitored and enhanced.

Strategic Goal Six

Fiscal Strength: Enhance Northeastern’s financial position by diversifying revenue sources and by strengthening institutional relationships with donors, public and private entities, and alumni.

Action Steps

6.1 Increase external funding, including grants, that supports programming critical to Northeastern’s mission.

6.2 Strategically plan for future Title V and other Minority Serving Institution grant applications using data and outcome analyses from current funds.

6.3 Increase advocacy efforts with federal and state governments to secure appropriations for the University.

6.4 Increase private, corporate, foundation, and other philanthropic support for the University.

6.5 Generate revenue by leveraging Northeastern’s assets (such as space rentals, fees for services, and continuing education programs) while continuing to prioritize University need.


How do we know that we are making progress on our Strategic Plan? Northeastern demonstrates progress in a variety of ways.

First, the specific Action Steps included in the Plan outline the various activities the University will undertake in the next few years to achieve our Goals. Each year we develop a set of annual activities which supports the Action Steps and Goals (called our annual work plan); at the end of each year we tally the completion of these activities, providing the results to our Board of Trustees and publishing them on our Strategic Planning website. These are specific and unique measures for Northeastern.

The second way of demonstrating progress involves comparisons with others. Northeastern has developed a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to assess tangible progress on each of our six Strategic Goals. We measure progress year to year as well as compare our results with those of carefully defined peer institutions.

In addition, our Strategic Plan supports the Illinois Board of Higher Education Public Agenda for Higher Education. We have demonstrated the connections between these two documents and the relationship between accomplishing our institutional goals and the state accomplishing its goals for higher education.

Northeastern will continue to strive to achieve its goals, reflecting excellence and accountability during the implementation of this plan.