University of Illinois Springfield
Strategic Compass Executive Summary

The University of Illinois System approved a new strategic framework in 2016, serving as an umbrella under which each of the three U of I universities were to pursue strategic planning. The following year, UIS launched a university-wide effort to develop refreshed mission, vision, values and goals statements to guide the next decade of strategic planning. The result—the 2018-2028 Strategic Compass—advances the outcomes achieved as part of the now-retired 2006-2016 Strategic Plan and charts a new course for continued growth and success.

Unlike traditional strategic plans, a strategic compass serves as a less-rigid guide that helps organizations focus on intentional and evidence-based decision-making when confronted with challenges and opportunities during pursuit of their full potential. A strategic compass is particularly appropriate in highly dynamic environments such as higher education.

As the University of Illinois Springfield nears its 50th year, we are ready to take this next step in our strategic planning efforts.


In 2017, UIS engaged the Center for Organizational and Human Resource Effectiveness (COHRE) at Middle Tennessee State University to design and conduct the process for engaging and collecting UIS stakeholders’ input to ultimately produce new mission, vision, values, directional pillars and an overarching strategic goal. Following months of individual and focus-group interviews and anonymous surveys, COHRE consultants presented their findings during the Fall 2018 semester.

The UIS Strategic Compass Steering Committee (SCSC) took the COHRE recommendations and spent Fall 2018 engaging the campus in the development of the new UIS mission, vision and values statements based on the report’s findings and stakeholder feedback. Upon review by Chancellor Koch, the statements were approved in January 2019. Together with the overarching strategic goal and four directional pillars identified by COHRE, these new mission, vision and values statements will guide the University’s decision-making and goal-setting over the next decade.

The New UIS Strategic Compass

Overarching Strategic Goal

UIS strives to provide a premier educational experience.

Directional Pillars

UIS will achieve its potential by setting goals that are guided by four directional pillars:

  • World-class Teaching
  • Personal Attention
  • Experience Engaged
  • Liberal Arts Skilled


The University of Illinois Springfield provides a uniquely student-centered educational experience both in and out of the classroom through active learning, meaningful research and impactful civic engagement that prepares graduates to contribute fully to society.


The University of Illinois Springfield will be a pathway to opportunity, a catalyst for change and a space of possibility where learners become ethical and passionate scholars, leaders and citizens capable of transforming their local and global communities.


  1. Student-focused Teaching and Learning: We place student development – fostered through meaningful interactions among students, faculty, staff and the community – at the core of all University activities.
  2. Integrity: We conduct ourselves with honesty, professionalism and respect for others, accepting responsibility for the ethical consequences of our ideas and actions.
  3. Inquiry: We seek to understand the world around us through the mastery of core skills of perception, analysis and expression, through the acquisition of knowledge and through the pursuit of scholarship that is challenging and significant.
  4. Civic Engagement: We build meaningful relationships that enable us to both learn from and contribute to our local and global communities.
  5. Diversity: We embrace diversity in all its forms as both an intellectual commitment and a social responsibility, and we foster an inclusive culture that recognizes the needs and contributions of every individual.
  6. Strategic Thinking: We are a proactive learning organization committed to continuous improvement, evidence-based decision-making and innovation.
  7. Accountability: We translate intentions into actions via shared governance and fiscal stewardship, holding decision-makers responsible to our students, colleagues and other stakeholders.

Next Steps

Throughout the Spring 2019 semester, every division—at the direction of its division leadership—will engage in goal-setting activities to align planning efforts with the new Strategic Compass. Planning resources will be provided online and via division heads as they become available.

View the full COHRE report (PDF)