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Our Philosophy

Higher education plays an indispensable role in American society. The exchange and growth of academic knowledge is essential to the well being of our society. Few roles in society are as critical to the general maintenance and advancement of our interests as citizens as is the contribution of higher education. Established under the sovereign authority of the State of Illinois, NIU exists to:

“Preserve, augment, criticize and transmit knowledge and to foster creative capabilities through instruction, public service, research, scholarship and other creative activity. The mission of the university is to learn, teach, criticize and enlarge what is known; to foster rational and imaginative capabilities in the search of understanding; to bring enlightened and skilled intelligence to bear upon actual and theoretical issues; and to achieve and increasing level of excellence in all aspects of its work.”

This mission is expansive in nature, requiring the coordination of a complex and extensive nexus of physical and human resources within a framework of university culture, government and policy. The university culture is a vital resource facilitating education, research, service, and preparing students for the assumption of productive careers and responsibilities in society. Simultaneously, the university conveys opportunities for employment and professional fulfillment that are critical to the well being of the community and region. Therefore, the relationship between the university and its human resources is reciprocal. Employment involves shared responsibility for the university institution

As an organization, the university incorporates an unusually wide spectrum of employee roles, backgrounds, and interests. The common denominator for all stakeholders is fulfillment of the university mission and service to our students. The continuing passage of students through the university is the source of vitality and purpose around which the university organization is established. All employees share in the university mission of student achievement and the success of the university is reliant upon the quality of the student experience. Future prospects for employment, compensation, advancement, recognition, professional fulfillment, even job security are directly related to the status of the university as determined by the student experience. To this end, every employee and every role undertaken advances the university mission and is integral to our overall success. Every employee is a representative of the university and NIU relies upon the shared commitment of all faculty and staff.

Consistent with its mission, the university respects each person’s value, dignity, individuality, capacity for success and contribution, and desire for personal growth and accomplishment. The university is committed to these factors in each employee. In return, NIU depends on its employees to share a common understanding and commitment toward achievement and excellence. Policies and procedures will be designed to maximize the collaborative achievement and productivity of our faculty and staff. Such maximization involves a responsive concern for employee interests and a proactive direction of university resources toward employee potentials and opportunities.

The faculty and staff of NIU have achieved a proven record of accomplishment and success. Employee commitment and performance is characterized by the pursuit of excellence and continuing achievement of the institution. NIU has never been an average institution. The organization is committed to advancing the status of every employee, to maintain a civil environment of discourse and collaboration, and to fostering the highest expectations between individuals as characterized in our daily interactions. The result is a durable organization that will provide security and opportunity for our employees while fulfilling the essential public mission of higher education uniquely represented in the experiences of each individual student.