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Five years of progress on Northwestern's strategic goals

President Schapiro, Provost Linzer announce progress report on 2011 Strategic Plan

  • Northwestern campuses in Evanston, Chicago and Doha transformed with new and renovated buildings
  • Record number of undergraduate applicants, and increased federal funding for research
  • University has expanded its global presence and enhanced its academic preeminence

EVANSTON - Northwestern University has unveiled its Strategic Plan Progress Report 2011-2016 highlighting remarkable achievements implemented as a result of the Northwestern Will Strategic Plan that launched five years ago.

The University has increased research and funding opportunities, transformed all three of its campuses with new facilities, strengthened the undergraduate experience, enhanced Northwestern's academic preeminence and established deeper connections with its local, national and global communities, the report says.

Northwestern has made significant investments to ensure faculty will have the means to continue their impactful research at the forefront of science and discovery — with an increasing focus on creative work and interdisciplinary research. These accomplishments since 2011, together with the many other initiatives underway across Northwestern, provide a strong framework to guide the University for the next five years.

Much of that innovative and collaborative work has been supported by the concurrent fundraising effort, We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, which already has crossed the $3 billion level on its way to the campaign’s $3.75 billion goal, well ahead of schedule.

Together, the strategic plan and the campaign have propelled the University forward. As the progress report underscores, significant accomplishments have been made in each of the strategic plan’s four key categories, or pillars: Discover, Integrate, Connect and Engage.

“That’s important, as it demonstrates the breadth and depth of the University’s efforts,” wrote President Morton Schapiro and Provost Daniel Linzer in an introductory letter to the Northwestern community on the opening page of the 2016 report.

“From hiring outstanding new faculty members and providing millions of dollars in student scholarship funds to constructing and renovating a number of buildings on all of its campuses, Northwestern is transforming itself in many ways,” they wrote.

“The impact already can be seen in a sharp increase in competitively awarded federal research funds to support Northwestern faculty in their pathbreaking research efforts, record numbers of applicants for admission, additional academic opportunities for students at all levels, an expanding global presence and increased national and international recognition of the accomplishments of Northwestern students and faculty, including a Nobel Prize for Sir Fraser Stoddart, the Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry,” they said.

The president and the provost encouraged the Northwestern community to continue their commitment to the work of the strategic plan in the years ahead and urged faculty, staff, students and others to read the report, which is available here.

Please find a text alternative to the following four infographics here. 

Discovering Creative Solutions

Northwestern continues to foster impactful research and problem-solving innovations that improve lives, communities and the world at large. Growth in key strategic areas such as biomedical research and nanoscience, coupled with an increased focus on creative work and interdisciplinary research in the social sciences and humanities, positions Northwestern to pursue unique opportunities for discovery in the years to come.


Integrating Learning and Experience

Over the past five years, Northwestern has made impressive strides in integrating classroom learning with real-world experiences. From curricular innovations to new and reconceived facilities, students now enjoy an abundance of new opportunities for experiential learning.


Connecting With the Community

Coupled with Northwestern’s commitment to excellent teaching and innovative research is the University’s aim for its students to grow personally and intellectually in a diverse academic community. Over the last five years, Northwestern has expanded efforts to increase access and create opportunities to build connections across all three campuses and with surrounding communities. This focus on strengthening the diversity and inclusiveness of its community will continue in the years ahead.


Engaging With the World

Over the past five years, Northwestern has heightened its impact on the world by augmenting global research and education activities and expanding partnerships both locally and globally. These strides have been enhanced through the establishment of new infrastructure and resources and will be furthered in the coming years by the University’s new global engagement strategy. Recent investments in and ongoing prioritization of global engagement will ensure Northwestern’s position as a global leader.


The report concludes with a grateful acknowledgement by Northwestern’s administration and trustees of "the dedication and support of faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends, whose contributions are the foundation of Northwestern’s success."

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