Guiding Principles

Northern Kentucky University’s mission is achieved through collective efforts of our faculty, staff, and administration and through the activities of the university’s colleges, programs, and departments. NKU’s strategic plan represents the shared vision, values, and goals of the entire university community and is the unifying instrument that optimizes the use of available resources and talent toward the achievement of the mission.

To build on the university’s strong foundation, ensure a focused and integrated approach, and encourage stakeholder ownership in the plan’s success, NKU will engage in a planning process that is guided by the following principles:

  • Stakeholder Involvement – The planning process should encourage the active participation of faculty, staff, students, alumni, community leaders, and other constituent groups.
  • Collaborative Effort – The planning process will involve cross-divisional collaboration to ensure the integration of strategies across functional lines for optimization of results.
  • Communication and Transparency – Planning deliberations will be communicated regularly with the campus community, and senior leadership will make strategic decisions in a timely, open, and transparent way.
  • Data-supported – The plan should be based on systematically gathered and analyzed information.
  • Relevance – The plan should reflect the university’s distinctive role in the region and should articulate how the institution adds value for students, the community, the region, and the commonwealth.
  • Alignment with State Goals – The plan should align with and support the goals of the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Agenda, Stronger by Degrees, and the statewide accountability system.
  • Ambitious but Realistic – The plan should establish ambitious goals yet be mindful of the realities of the university’s current fiscal environment and those that are expected to become a reality during the planning horizon.
  • Actionable – The plan should provide the strategic foundation upon which operational action plans can be developed and executed.
  • Resource Allocation and Alignment – The final plan should serve as a guide for aligning the university’s human, physical, technological, and financial resources with the university’s strategic priorities.
  • Accountability – The plan should incorporate performance metrics that are measureable and that demonstrate the university’s progress toward achievement of stated goals. Further, the university will monitor its progress and let that inform future actions as we seek continuous improvement.
  • Respect for Prior Work – The plan should build upon, but not be bound by, the work already represented by activities and documents such as the Foundations of Excellence; Quality Enhancement Plan; Diversity Plan; Information Technology Plan; Strategic Enrollment Management Plan; Huron report; Executive Dashboard; Physical Facilities Master Plan; and other planning initiatives.