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Vision, Strategic Direction and 3-Year Priorities

EMU's vision, approved by the Board of Trustees in November 2019, establishes a clear direction for the university in the coming years:

We will open new pathways of access and achievement for all students who aspire to grow as unifying leaders equipped with intercultural competence, oriented toward peace and justice, and rooted in an active faith modeled on the life and teachings of Jesus.

 The Strategic Direction and 3-Year Priorities (2020-23) document articulates in more specific terms the university’s strategic direction in the coming years. It synthesizes our aspirations with specific ideas and goals gathered from the campus community. It provides a roadmap for the university’s more detailed strategic plans as it enters its second century.

The 3-Year Priorities are organized around four overarching goals, described in further detail here with the associated priorities.

Four Overarching Goals



Celebrate and promote our unique identity as an academically rigorous Christian liberal arts university, strengthening our identity in the communities we serve.

  • Promote and elevate EMU's brand and values on- and off-campus, building the university's reputation
  • Strengthen school spirit, launching new community rituals and celebrations to foster community and highlight our successes
  • Increase local visibility



The Latino Student Alliance created a beautiful alfombra – made of colored rice, saw dust and coffee grounds – on the Campus Center greeting hall floor during Lent 2017.

Reimagine our university through the eyes of our increasingly diverse student body–meeting our students where they are, and valuing the contributions they make to our learning community.

  • Invest in ways to increase the sense of belonging among all students, building an invitational community of communities with permeable boundaries
  • Reimagine support processes for a student population that is more diverse across multiple dimensions (demographics, age, motivation for study, modality, etc.)
  • Diversify our faculty/staff
  • Support faculty development to implement student-centered pedagogies; aid faculty in teaching to an increasingly diverse student body



Engineering students teamed up to create a poster about the Engineers for a Sustainable World stationary bike project.

Enhance our program offerings and grow our student body.

  • Refresh/repackage existing curriculum to align with student interest (incorporate customization as appropriate) and build on EMU strengths and distinctives
  • Expand program offerings for "post-traditional" students (accelerated, graduate),  non-credit (prof. dev., camps) and better applied learning opportunities (internships for all) based on EMU strengths and distinctives
  • Increase access and affordability, enhancing financial aid and offering programs at varying price points  
  • Ensure financial strength through increased enrollments and vigilant attention to optimization (e.g. student/faculty and student/staff ratios) in our operations, consistently achieving a positive operating margin



Psychology major Jasmine Wilson interned at Little Friends for Peace in 2016-17 as a participant in EMU’s Washington Community Scholars Center.

Engage in new ways and with new partners to achieve our mission, vision and brand.

  • Focus on new employee and organizational capacities and structures to achieve our student-centered goals
  • Invest in strategic partnerships to improve program offerings, increase efficiency, and strengthen the university
  • Renew our commitment to sustainability in visible ways
  • Secure new resources through a comprehensive campaign that engages our alumni, parents, and friends to advance our shared mission

Approved: EMU Board of Trustees
April 3, 2020

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