Beyond Boundaries: Marquette's previous strategic plan


Marquette University’s strategic planning process began in 2012 with a series of listening sessions with university stakeholders. A comprehensive analysis was conducted of the university’s strengths and limitations, as well as the opportunities and threats in the university’s external environment. Additionally, a vision statement for the university was developed. Marquette’s strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries, comprising six themes and goals, along with examples of objectives for each of the strategic goals, was endorsed by the campus community and was approved by the Marquette University Board of Trustees in May 2013.

During the intervening two years, there were several changes in the university’s executive leadership, including the hiring of several new academic deans and vice presidents, a new provost, and a new president. These changes, coupled with the ever-changing landscape of higher education, prompted university leadership to revisit the strategic plan to ensure that it would effectively achieve the university’s vision for its future and reflect Marquette's Guiding Values.

Revisiting Marquette’s strategic plan involved a significant number of faculty, staff and students and was conducted in partnership with the Board of Trustees throughout fall 2015. Marquette University Student Government, the University Academic Senate, the University Staff Senate, the associate deans for research, the University Leadership Council, various committees and task forces on diversity and inclusion, the goal stewards and their respective planning teams, and the university’s Master Planning Committee and the master planning consultants all provided input and guidance on Beyond Boundaries. New goal stewards were added to the team to ensure broad input and guidance.

The original six themes and goals were revised to facilitate several desired strategic outcomes. The strategic theme and goal of Organizational Effectiveness, which focused on creating a university culture of innovation and continuous improvement, was distributed across several of the other goals: Academic Excellence (program review processes), Research in Action (innovation grants) and Sustainability of Valuable Resources (sustainable practices and wise stewardship of human, fiscal and physical resources). A new strategic theme and goal, a Culture of Inclusion, was added based on our recent reaccreditation review by the Higher Learning Commission, as well as the results of our climate survey that was conducted in spring 2015.


A strategic plan serves as an organization’s roadmap that guides it in effectively achieving its vision. By providing strategic direction, Beyond Boundaries will guide Marquette, along with the campus master plan, enrollment plan, academic planning and a comprehensive campaign.

Marquette’s strategic plan consists of our mission statement, vision statement, six strategic themes and corresponding goals. Each of the goals has several objectives drawn directly from the corresponding goal. A set of tactics (strategic actions) that Marquette will pursue to achieve each objective has been developed. Institutional metrics have been identified to assess progress toward each goal. Finally, our Guiding Values serve as the foundation of all that we do — reminding us that all people and all things are created to praise and serve God in our community and throughout the world.

An organization’s mission statement articulates its purpose and why it exists. Based on the university's four pillars — excellence, faith, leadership and service — Marquette’s mission as a Catholic, Jesuit university is to serve God by serving our students and contributing to the advancement of knowledge.

Our vision statement reflects what we wish to become — to be recognized among the most innovative and accomplished Catholic, Jesuit universities in the world, promoting the greater glory of God and the well-being of humankind. To achieve this vision, we recognize that we must reach beyond traditional academic boundaries and embrace new and collaborative methods of teaching, learning, research and service in an inclusive environment that supports all of our members in reaching their fullest potential. Our vision for our graduates is that they will be problem-solvers and agents for change. In the spirit of St. Ignatius and Father Jacques Marquette, our graduates will be ready in every way to “go and set the world on fire.”

The guiding tenets we use to deliver on our mission and vision are reflected in our Guiding Values. At Marquette, we:

  • Pledge personal and holistic development of students as our primary institutional vocation
  • Pursue academic excellence and educate students who are men and women for and with others throughout the world
  • Embody a spirit of interdisciplinary curiosity, research, innovation, entrepreneurship and application to change and improve ourselves, our community and our world
  • Nurture an inclusive, diverse community that fosters new opportunities, partnerships, collaboration and vigorous yet respectful debate
  • Live as servant leaders with a commitment to the Jesuit tradition and Catholic social teaching for all people, beliefs and faith traditions
  • Create bold, ambitious plans enacted with agility, authentic accountability and a commitment to the greater good

These Guiding Values serve as the basis for our actions as we implement our bold and ambitious strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries, to achieve our vision for Marquette.