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Strategic Plan Update

In Summer 2021, Northern updated its Strategic Plan, adding two additional focus areas and two new strategic outcomes, along with selecting six post-pandemic Phase I priority initiatives.   


Investing in Innovation: The vision and courage to lead transformational change.

Strategic Focus Areas:

  • Academic Excellence
  • Student Retention and Success
  • Domestic and Global Outreach and Engagement
  • Investment and Innovation
  • Equity in systems and processes
  • Mind and body wellness

Strategic Outcomes:

  • Enhancing prestige and distinction – in ways that ensure we are known for our teaching, experiential learning, scholarship, mentoring and service.
  • Establishing new and responsive approaches – for programs, services, technology and our ways of operating.
  • Expanded partnerships – with alumni, friends, communities, businesses, government agencies, schools, colleges and universities, in and across academic disciplines and with people here and around the world.
  • Growing and managing enrollment – strengthening our on-campus student body while increasing efforts regarding new student populations such as online, off-campus, underrepresented, international and nontraditional.
  • Leading the rural agenda by discovering the ways that rural and urban environments are similar and dissimilar, developing creative ways to support rural economies, communities and people, and actively addressing the rural issues.
  • Supporting carbon neutrality  – by establishing sustainability as a priority for decisions and actions taken by the University.

Post-Pandemic Phase 1 New Strategic Initiatives

The six post-pandemic Phase 1 strategic initiatives are a series of engaging proposals that will add another layer of success to the "Investing in innovation" strategic plan. These initiatives have emerged from the SRA project, new campus master plan, and Big Idea campaign. They represent ongoing strategic discussions.

Priority Facilities

  • Career-Tech & Engineering
  • College of Business

Addressing Current Issues

  • Reimagining Inclusion & Equity at NMU
  • Collaborative Sustainability

Elevating the Student Experience

  • Expanding Online & Developing New Academic Programs
  • Integrated Health and Counseling Services


Strategic Planning Materials: