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Core Themes

In September 2011, the university submitted four core themes to its accrediting body, The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.  Each core theme, which is summarized below, describes a key aspect of our mission.  A complete description of the core themes, including objectives pertaining to access, relevance, quality, and culture, can be accessed at this link.

Core Theme One: Undergraduate Education

Our university provides access to high quality undergraduate education that cultivates the personal and professional growth of our students and meets the educational needs of our community, state, and nation. We engage our students and focus on their success.

Core Objectives

Core Objective 1.1: Access and Completion

  • Students of all backgrounds have the opportunity and support needed to pursue and successfully complete their undergraduate degree programs.

Core Objective 1.2: Relevance

  • Our undergraduate students develop depth and breadth in the skills, knowledge, and experiences required to ensure their success in the 21st century world.

Core Objective 1.3: Quality

  • In addition to developing depth of knowledge, understanding, and skill in their respective disciplines, our undergraduate students are engaged in an education that stresses the liberal arts. They master enduring skills and habits of mind that transcend disciplinary boundaries, achieve a breadth of knowledge and understanding over a range of disciplines, receive a solid grounding in civic and ethical responsibility, and become aware of the global community and their connection to it.

Core Objective 1.4: Culture

  • Our undergraduate students experience high expectations for academic achievement, a vibrant intellectual atmosphere, a culture that embraces local and global connections, and an environment that inspires creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.  An appreciation of, and respect for, a variety of perspectives and cultures are developed in our students.  Our students are engaged in university life and community activities.

Core Theme Two: Graduate Education

Our university provides access to graduate education that addresses the needs of our region, is meaningful in a global context, is respected for its high quality, and is delivered within a supportive graduate culture.

Core Objectives

Core Objective 2.1: Access

  • We provide students of all backgrounds with access to graduate educational opportunities in formats that are appropriate, flexible, accessible, and affordable.

Core Objective 2.2: Relevance

  • Our graduate students develop skills, knowledge, and experiences that are relevant and valuable locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.

Core Objective 2.3: Quality

  • Our graduate programs are composed of advanced and integrated learning experiences that provide disciplinary depth and interdisciplinary connections, and that reinforce the overall scholarly output of the university.

Core Objective 2.4: Culture

.  Our graduate experience embodies high expectations for academic achievement and respect for the core values of scholarship, integrity, generosity, and responsibility.

Core Theme Three: Research and Creative Activity

Through our endeavors in basic and applied research and in creative activity, our researchers, artists, and students create knowledge and understanding of our world and of ourselves, and transfer that knowledge to provide societal, economic, and cultural benefits.  Students are integral to our faculty research and creative activity.

Core Objectives

Core Objective 3.1: Access

  • Community members can connect with and benefit from our researchers, artists, and students.  Our students are true collaborators in our activities.

Core Objective 3.2: Relevance

  • Our efforts in research and creative activity have direct and beneficial impact on the community, state, nation, and global community.

Core Objective 3.3: Quality

  • We pursue research and creative activity that brings about discovery of fundamental knowledge and produces a better understanding of the human condition and our world.  The work of our researchers, artists, and students has substantial disciplinary impact and contributes to the overall reputation of the university.

Core Objective 3.4: Culture

  • We provide creative, proactive, and responsive support for the research and creative activity of our faculty, staff, and students.  Our researchers, artists, and students collaborate within and across disciplines, both within and outside the institution.  We facilitate an ongoing integration of teaching with faculty research and creative activity.

Core Theme Four: Community Commitment

The university is a vital part of the community, and our commitment to the community extends beyond our educational programs, research, and creative activity.  We collaborate in the development of partnerships that address community and university issues.  The community and university share knowledge and expertise with each other.  We look to the community to inform our goals, actions, and measures of success.  We work with the community to create a rich mix of culture, learning experiences, and entertainment that educates and enriches the lives of our citizens. Our campus culture and climate promote civility, inclusiveness and collegiality.

Core Objectives

Core Objective 4.1: Access

  • Our campus is easily accessible and navigable by community members.  Similarly, our faculty and staff are easily accessible to community members seeking information and expertise.  Students, faculty, and staff easily connect with community partners.

Core Objective 4.2: Relevance and Quality

  • Members of the community and of the university collaborate to solve important problems and to enrich our community.  We contribute to the development and direction of the community, and the community is engaged in the development and direction of the university.  The university and community share valuable knowledge and expertise.  The community seeks and values the contribution of the university, and the university seeks and values the contribution of the community.

Core Objective 4.3: Culture

  • We partner with the community in a wide range of cultural, athletic, and social events.  We provide educational opportunities beyond the classroom, serving as a center for non-credit educational programs.  We provide a welcoming environment for community, which values, supports, and participates in programs offered by the university.