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The Reggie Redbird bust in the Redbird Plaza.

Excellence by Design

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Our Mission

Illinois State University prepares diverse, engaged, and informed members of society through collaborative teaching, scholarship, and service.

Our Vision

Illinois State University will be a national leader in student-focused education connecting teaching, research, innovation, and intercultural understanding.

Our Values

Nursing student works in the lab.

Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship

Illinois State University students, faculty, and staff excel in the pursuit of learning as an active, lifelong process through a balanced model of teaching, research, creative productivity, and experiential learning.

Individualized Attention

Illinois State University provides a supportive, student-centered environment that maximizes each student’s potential. The University fosters academic and personal growth, recognizes unique educational aspirations, and values each faculty and staff member’s contributions to student success.

Two people shake hands in a gallery displaying graphic design pieces.
Graduates smile for a photo at commencement.

Equity, Diversity, Access and Belonging

Illinois State University upholds and models a campus culture of belonging dedicated to equity, diversity, access, and social justice for all.


The Illinois State University community works collaboratively through shared governance to ensure a culture of success, development, and continuous improvement. The University partners with business, industry, government, and educational entities to expand outreach and provide leadership expertise in local, statewide, national, and international initiatives.

A tour guide speaks to visiting students and their families.
Gamma Phi Circus members perform during the homecoming parade.

Community and Civic Engagement

Illinois State University prepares students to be informed, ethical, and engaged global leaders who will shape, uphold, and advance civic engagement as a lifelong responsibility for the betterment of society.


Illinois State University fosters a culture that embodies mutual respect, openness to new ideas, different cultural perspectives, and a synergistic approach to problem-solving. Faculty, staff, and students promote understanding, acknowledge each other’s rights to express differing opinions, and listen and respond to opposing views with civility.

Three students sitting at a table working on their laptops.
Reggie Redbird and a staff member high-five while answering phones for the Birds Give Back fundraising event.


Illinois State University promotes the highest levels of ethical standards and accountability in personal and professional actions in all endeavors.

Our Strategic Directions

Illinois State University's strategic plan, Excellence by Design: 2024-2029, was crafted with four strategic directions:

  • Cultivate a Culture of Success and Belonging
  • Foster a Culture of Responsible Stewardship
  • Elevate Our Institutional Excellence
  • Expand Mutually Beneficial Partnerships

Each strategic direction includes a set of specific strategic goals supported by objectives and actions designed to help support the overarching target expressed by the strategic direction. These strategic directions are of equal importance to Illinois State University and are ordered in no specific hierarchy.