Governors State University is committed to offering an exceptional and accessible education that prepares students with the knowledge, skills and confidence to succeed in a global society.


GSU will create an intellectually stimulating public square, serve as an economic catalyst for the region, and lead as a model of academic excellence, innovation, diversity and responsible citizenship.

Core Values

Invest in Student Success through a commitment to mentoring and a deliberate university focus on student achievement of academic, professional and personal goals.

Provide Opportunity and Access to a first-class public education to residents of our surrounding communities and all those traditionally underserved by higher education.

Serve as an Economic Catalyst for the citizens of the State of Illinois and our larger Midwest region, so that our communities grow and flourish.

Prepare Stewards of our Future to thrive in the global economy, to contribute to ongoing innovative research and to serve as stewards of the environment.

Demonstrate Inclusiveness and Diversity to encourage acceptance of wide-ranging perspectives among students, staff, faculty and members of the broader community.

Promote Quality of Life, which encompasses civic, personal, professional and cultural growth

Click here to download a PDF version of the Vision 2020 Strategic Plan


  • Academic Excellence


    Provide distinctive academic programs that effectively prepare students to become leaders and productive citizens in the global community.

    • Ensure that academic programs are up to date and relevant, and aligned with professional and discipline standards.
    • Enhance academic programs through the incorporation of diverse intellectual perspectives and cross-cultural competence.
    • Through the Academic Master Plan process, develop and implement new academic programs and revise current academic programs, which respond to regional, state, national and international needs and student demands.
    • Provide a campus environment (physical and virtual) that supports teaching, learning and scholarly and creative activities through appropriate academic facilities, libraries, instructional and technology resources.
    • Enhance external support as appropriate for university academic programs and services through increased relationships with external partners.
    • Enhance academic programs through the implementation of best practices in administrative, faculty and staff development.
    • Promote high quality learning opportunities through curricular, co-curricular and extracurricular activities, such as experiential learning, internships, international learning experiences, civic engagement and service learning.

  • Student Success


    Provide a seamless and supportive pathway from admission to graduation focused on personal and academic success to help ensure that students are career ready and positioned to be leaders and citizens in the community.

    • Develop an exemplary first-year experience program designed to both support student success and attain first year to second year retention rates that surpass the national average for peer institutions.
    • Develop a comprehensive Academic Advising model to transition students from high-touch general education advising to quality program based advising.
    • Provide and assess a broad range of tutoring and academic support services for both general education and upper-division course work, which nurtures the highest levels of academic success.
    • Expand, enhance and promote the Dual Degree Program (DDP), including the Men of Color Initiative, as a model pathway to the baccalaureate degree for transfer students from our partner community colleges.
    • Develop, implement and assess comprehensive and progressive mentoring systems, internships, leadership programs and student engagement initiatives at the undergraduate and graduate levels focused on the development and enhancement of transferable real-world skills associated with exemplary leaders and citizens, and career ready professionals.
    • Create, promote and navigate students through a Four-Year Career Development Plan and provide expanded, strategic on-campus employment, which focuses on increasing responsibility from freshman to senior year with an emphasis on fully preparing students to define their career goals and ensuring they are career ready professionals by graduation.
    • Establish and implement the Center for the Junior Year to provide an exemplary physical and virtual resource center for native and transfer students to come together for information, support and guidance as they transition to their chosen major.
    • Establish a model residential program defined by a supportive, caring and inclusive living and learning community with high levels of engagement by resident students both on campus and in the community.

  • High Quality Faculty and Staff


    Provide students access to a highly qualified, motivated, and diverse faculty and staff.


    • Develop and implement plans and processes to hire faculty of exceptional quality
    • Develop and implement plans and processes to retain high quality faculty and reward the exceptional work of faculty.
    • Advance faculty development to provide and support
      • Best pedagogic and professional practices
      • Scholarly and career development
      • Grant-related activities
      • Rewards for professional public service
    • Strategically employ and effectively support non-tenure track faculty and adjuncts to address program and student needs.
    • Increase the number of faculty holding a terminal degree.


    • Develop and implement plans and processes to hire, retain, and reward the exceptional work of staff.
    • Advance staff development to provide and support
      • Training that provides professional development
      • Relevant training and certifications
      • Scholarly and career development
      • Rewards for professional public service
    • Increase the number staff holding a Bachelor’s degree and beyond.

  • Enrollment Management


    Develop and implement strategic initiatives with respect to recruitment, admissions, retention, and graduation rates of undergraduate and graduate students at Governors State University.

    • Implement a comprehensive and collaborative Strategic Enrollment Management plan that focuses on student success and institutional growth.
    • Implement a comprehensive undergraduate enrollment management strategy that focuses on increasing the enrollment of a diverse freshmen, transfer, and international student body.
    • Implement a comprehensive graduate enrollment strategy that focuses on increasing the enrollment of a diverse and well-prepared graduate student body.
    • Increase global awareness among the GSU community through strategic initiatives of International Student Services and academic programming.

  • Financial Growth and Resiliency


    Diversify GSU’s revenue streams to ensure resources that are necessary for institutional growth and fiscal sustainability.

    • Broaden GSU’s Foundation philanthropic resources in order to raise more revenue to support the strategic plan and scholarships for students.
    • Enhance GSU’s relationships with Illinois State Legislators in order to maintain and grow state appropriated funding and capital development resources, enhance GSU’s contribution to the region and state, and cultivate supporters who will advocate on behalf of the mission and vision of GSU.
    • Enhance relationships with GSU’s Federal Legislators in order to maintain and grow federal funding for GSU’s strategic plan and enrich the educational experience of our students and region.
    • Secure GSU’s financial stewardship in order to finance capital needs, growth needs, and alternative funding vehicles that consider debt management and credit ratings.

  • Visibility, Outreach, and Economic Catalyst


    Pursue initiatives that make GSU a preferred destination in the region for cultural, social, economic, and continuing education pursuits; enhance collaboration between GSU and its communities; position GSU as a leader and partner in vibrant public dialogue; and increase the university’s effectiveness as an economic catalyst in the region.

    • Build regional awareness of, and preference for, GSU as a cultural destination and resource.
    • Build GSU’s presence as an important venue for dialogue and problem-solving related to the region’s critical issues.
    • Establish GSU as the regional center for continuing education and life-long learning.
    • Develop GSU’s identity as a center for excellence in academic research and collaboration.
    • Create an engaged and diverse audience (current and potential students, community members, external partners) through effective branding and marketing initiatives.
    • Continue to build GSU’s profile as an important catalyst and partner for regional economic development.

  • Social, Ethical, and Environmental Responsibility


    Build an institution that is socially, ethically, and environmentally responsible.

    • Create opportunities for civic engagement and community service with particular emphasis on citizens historically underserved by higher education. Demonstrate through university sponsored initiatives and academic programs a commitment to ethics, inclusiveness and diversity.
    • Affirm the university’s public responsibility to play an essential role in building civic relevance and vitality by serving as a stimulus to educational, cultural, environmental, community and economic development in the greater Chicagoland area and beyond.
    • Encourage and demonstrate the active pursuit of sustainability and environmental stewardship through university development, organizational responsibility and governmental compliance.
    • Integrate sustainability broadly into academic programs, campus operations and student life.

  • Continuous Process Improvement


    Develop and sustain a climate of continuous improvement, which is defined by evidence-based decision-making focused on enriching the student experience.

    • The university will establish a process whereby each unit identifies their contribution toward meeting the goals of the strategic plan.
    • The university will annually review outcome data and make academic, fiscal and operational decisions based on progress toward meeting the goals of the strategic plan.
    • The university will create an annual report of progress toward meeting university goals.