Vision Statement for Illinois Wesleyan University

Illinois Wesleyan University will build on its achievements as an eminent, national liberal arts institution offering each of its students an education of the highest quality with distinctive opportunities for intellectual development in all majors and programs. Emphasizing the liberal arts as the core of every student’s education, the University will also provide opportunities for professional or pre-professional preparation in selected fields. Guided by the promise of its motto, “Scientia et Sapientia” (knowledge and wisdom), the University will stimulate a passion for lifelong learning, seeking to help its community members make connections among ideas, values, and experiences so that they may understand and act more effectively in the world.

As a residential university of about 2,100 undergraduates, Illinois Wesleyan will provide an intellectually and artistically vibrant environment, with rich cocurricular offerings to complement the University’s primary academic mission. The curriculum and cocurriculum will promote a strong sense of Illinois Wesleyan’s place in the local and in an interconnected global community, and the University will demonstrate a meaningful commitment to social justice and environmental sustainability. To secure the compelling educational and social benefits of diversity and to counter the particular legacy of discrimination in our society, the University will strive to attract and retain students, faculty, staff, and trustees from a wide range of experiences, viewpoints, cultures, and backgrounds, with special emphasis on racial and ethnic diversity. In this setting, all members of the University community—students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, Trustees, and friends—will be valued contributors to campus life.

Illinois Wesleyan will be highly selective in recruiting and retaining talented, intellectually curious students who have a strong motivation to pursue the best education that the University has to offer. All students will have opportunities to work closely, and often collaboratively, with faculty and staff, and all will be challenged to engage in multicultural interactions of national and international dimension. Students will be encouraged to develop their capacities, cultivate their individual talents, and pursue multiple interests, in a manner that fosters self-confidence coupled with humility. The University will strive to graduate individuals who are socially aware, environmentally informed, ethical, and engaged citizens, who make significant contributions to their local, national, and world communities.

The Illinois Wesleyan faculty will be excellent teachers, mentors, and advisors, who are actively engaged in the discovery and creation of knowledge and art. This talented faculty will be recruited from nationally and globally diverse backgrounds. The size of the faculty and the resources dedicated to its work will be sufficient for the University to sustain a rigorous scholarly, creative, and academic environment equivalent in quality to that of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation. The faculty’s work will be supported by a strong and varied array of faculty development opportunities.

Illinois Wesleyan’s staff will be united in the common goal of supporting the University’s core mission. Recognizing the vital contributions of its staff members, the University will cultivate a working environment in which all staff are supported in their work, can develop and use their talents, have opportunities for advancement, and enjoy respect and recognition.

The University will aspire to create an extended University community—including not only those on campus, but alumni, trustees, parents, donors, and friends in the local community and from around the world—that is welcoming to all and committed to Illinois Wesleyan’s core beliefs, which emphasize the spirit of inquiry, intellectual integrity, breadth of knowledge and understanding, tolerance of dissent, respect for cultural diversity, and strength of character. The University will work to create a community in which all members have a lifelong sense of belonging, value Illinois Wesleyan’s best traditions, and respect and support the University. To this end, governance of the institution will be open and accessible to active, well-informed participation from all constituencies.

All campus grounds, facilities, library resources, information technology resources, and support services will be of high quality and will provide an atmosphere that inspires the pursuit of learning and promotes human and environmental health and well-being. The University will demonstrate its commitment to physical accessibility and financial affordability for all students. To achieve and sustain its vision, Illinois Wesleyan will continue to strengthen its financial base.

--Endorsed by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, November 11, 2004