Skip To Main Content

ONU 2021


With the approval of Northern’s strategic plan – ONU 2021 – by the Board of Trustees in May 2013, Ohio Northern University’s strategic direction is set, and our goals for the future are established. The strategic goals listed below and the actions taken to achieve them are intended to propel ONU forward to attain greater success and arrive at our sesquicentennial year in 2021 poised for a milestone 150-year celebration.

To implement ONU’s strategic plan, we created an Operational Agenda for the year ahead, one that identifies specific actions for each goal, including who or what office is primarily responsible for completing the action and by when.

ONU 2021: Strategic Goals and Priorities For Advancing Ohio Northern University

Goal 1. Enhance the excellence and distinctiveness of the University’s academic programs

  • Priority A - We will invest in hiring and retaining quality faculty by supporting their development and commitment to excellence as teachers, scholars, and mentors.
  • Priority B - We will identify and implement opportunities for both new and existing academic program growth that is consistent with our mission and utilizes market analysis.
  • Priority C - We will implement academic program review to support continuous improvement and decisions for program investment or disinvestment.
  • Priority D - We will explore opportunities to build strategic partnerships to benefit our local communities, the region, and beyond.

Goal 2. Strengthen the campus learning environment and its co-curricular programs and services

  • Priority A - We will regularly assess student learning outcomes in our academic majors and periodically assess the general education program. The results of assessment will be used to improve academic majors and general education.
  • Priority B - We will assess co-curricular programs to determine their contribution to student learning, engagement, retention, and graduation in order to improve these programs.
  • Priority C - We will ensure that high-impact learning practices remain a visible hallmark of an ONU education by providing students with expanded opportunities for engaging in these activities that enrich and deepen learning.
  • Priority D - We will encourage participation in service and civic engagement activities to enhance student learning and to foster a desire among students to become engaged citizens.
  • Priority E - We will adopt technology resources that enhance student learning and are consistent with our mission.

Goal 3. Support a commitment to the University’s core values and foster a campus culture that engages and values all members of the University community

  • Priority A - We will invest in training and development of our administrative and support staff with a particular emphasis on providing high quality service to students and colleagues.
  • Priority B - We will foster transparency and information sharing through effective shared governance, communication, and consultation.
  • Priority C - We will pursue policies and practices that enable The University to attract and retain a high quality, diverse workforce, focusing on competitive compensation, sustainable benefits, and retirement readiness.
  • Priority D - We will foster a campus culture that celebrates success and seeks to build community within organizational units and across the entire University.

Goal 4. Attract, retain, and graduate the optimal number, quality and profile of students

  • Priority A - We will set college and program enrollment targets according to the Strategic Enrollment Plan.
  • Priority B - We will set goals for enrolling a diverse student population, including domestic minority students and international students, according to the Strategic Enrollment Plan.
  • Priority C - We will set retention goals and develop and implement support systems and practices that will assist in meeting the retention and graduation goals of the Strategic Enrollment Plan.
  • Priority D - We will engage alumni and friends to help recruit prospective students.

Goal 5. Build and maintain long-term financial sustainability

  • Priority A - We will improve the sustainable financial state and fiscal strength of the University, maintaining a focus on increasing revenue, especially net tuition revenue, and cost management.
  • Priority B - We will implement the five-year financial plan.
  • Priority C - We will continue to implement the 2014 Campus Master Plan to meet academic and co-curricular needs, focusing on the program elements identified in the USDA grant.
  • Priority D - We will incorporate sustainable practices that will enable us to be better stewards of our environmental, energy, and financial resources.
  • Priority E - We will develop and implement an institutional technology plan and incorporate technology that is cost-effective and improves administrative functioning.
  • Priority F - We will assess and evaluate administrative programs and services to support continuous improvement and decisions for program investment or disinvestment.

Goal 6. Achieve greater public recognition and awareness of University programs and fully engage our constituents to increase their level of involvement and philanthropic support.

  • Priority A - We will implement the University’s brand promise to advance and enhance our state, regional, and national reputation.
  • Priority B - We will continue to broaden and deepen the culture of philanthropy by launching the next campaign in conjunction with the University’s 150th anniversary in 2021.
  • Priority C - We will continue to create and promote events, programming, and experiences that connect alumni and friends to the University.
  • Priority D - We will optimize our opportunities to attract financial support from government, corporate, and foundation sources.

Operational Agenda

The Operational Agenda and regular updates are available and accessible electronically for faculty and staff as well as information regarding the six strategic planning work groups:

  1. Creating Brand Awareness
  2. Reforming University Governance
  3. Considering the Role of Online Learning
  4. Incorporating Principles and Practices for Sustainability
  5. Increasing the University’s Four-Year Completion Rate for Undergraduates
  6. Developing a Comprehensive Campus Master Plan