This is the "Mission" page of the "GSU History" guide.
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Last Updated: Oct 11, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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This page serves as a starting point for research on the mission of Governors State University throughout its history. References are cited for those interested in more than a quick look. Please note that additional materials may be available in the University Archives. For assistance in delving in further on this subject, please complete an Archives Request Form.

Sarah Wegley would like to acknowledge Erin Engelbrecht's help with locating the information on this web page.


1971 Mission - President Engbretson

"Governors State University is to be a future-oriented, service minded institution constantly seeking academic excellence. It will ... be in effect, an experimenting instititution that will be open, humane, and efficient."

This is an excerpt from a lengthy description of the University's mission which can be found in its entirety in Educational Planning Guidelines, pp. 7-11. The bold type is carried over from the original text.


1973 Mission - President Engbretson

The 1973 GSU Bulletin, a precursor to the Catalog, contained this reference to GSU's mission and philosophy:

"Governors State University was designed as an experimenting University to explore new ways of educating and providing service to the communities it serves. The words most associated with its mission are: future-oriented, service minded, academic excellence, open, humane, and efficient."

Another paragraph follows. See p. 6 of the 1973 Bulletin to read the entire text. The bold type is carried over from the original text.


1976 Mission

"Governors State University (GSU) opened in September 1971 as a future-oriented, service-directed, experimenting institution for commuter students. It has been planned to be open , flexible, humane, efficient, utilitarian, and academically excellent. Its unusual programs encourage innovative search for solutions to many of humanity's most profound problems.

The University is committed to a degree of responsiveness to individual and community needs that may be unparalleled. Wherever possible, barriers have been removed. Members throughout the University family (students, faculty, interested community members, staff and administration) interact in University governance, and are receptive to each others' evaluation in terms of expectancies and commitments made, creating a new level of accountability."

This mission statement was published in the 1976 Catalog on p. 8 and continued with action objectives and characteristics of the instructional system at GSU.


1980 Mission - President Goodman-Malamuth

The 1980-1981 Catalog contained a revised mission that highlighted the geographic region and specifically mentioned GSU's nontraditional students.

"Governors State University primarily serves the south metropolitan Chicagoland areas as well as the five neighboring counties of DuPage, Kankakee, Kendall, Grundy, and Will by providing liberal arts, science, and professional preparation at the upper-division and master's degree levels. It offers a competency-based educational program related to the educational needs and societal concerns of the region. In addition to serving the needs of the new atypical student (mature, minority, economically disadvantaged), the University will broaden its concern to serve all citizens in the region who can profit from its programs."

Three more paragraphs complete the mission statement. Find the entire text on p. 7 of the 1980-1981 Catalog.

This mission remained the same (with some editing) until 1993. 

You can find it on p. 7 of the 1981-1982 Catalog and the 1982-1983 Catalog. Then, for several years, the mission is not included in the Catalog. It reappears in the 1989-1990 Catalog on p. 10. It can also be found on p. 10 of the 1990-1991 Catalog and 1991-1992 Catalog and p. 6 of the 1992-1993 Catalog.


1993 Mission - President Wolff

The 1993-1994 Catalog contained this revised Role and Mission statement on p. 6:

"Governors State University's primary mission is teaching. It provides an affordable and accessible undergraduate and graduate education to its culturally and economically diverse life-long learners. The liberal arts and sciences are the foundation of the University's academic programs; these programs generally emphasize professional preparation.

Governors State has a strong commitment to cultural diversity in every facet of university life. The university values its multicultural community of students, faculty and staff as they learn together throughout their lives. It addresses the needs of the traditional and nontraditional learners through the breadth of its curriculum, through flexible teaching strategies, and through advanced instructional technologies.

Governors State University, located south of Chicago, is an active partner in the economic and social development of the surrounding metropolitan regions, preparing informed and concerned citizens and providing them a global perspective in an interdependent world."

This mission statement remained unchanged in the Catalog until 2005.


2005 Mission - President Fagan

The 2005-2006 Catalog contained this revised Role and Mission statement on p. 7:

"At Governors State University, our mission is:

• To offer a demonstrably excellent education that meets the demands of our region and state for engaged, knowledgeable citizens and highly skilled professionals and that is accessible to all including those traditionally underserved by higher education;

• To cultivate and enlarge a diverse and intellectually stimulating community of learners guided by a culture that embodies:
- Openness of communication;
- Diversity of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives;
- Mutual respect and cooperation;
- Critical inquiry, constant questioning and continuing assessment; and
- Ongoing research and scholarship; and

• To strengthen and enhance the educational, cultural, social and economic development of the region through partnerships with governmental, business, educational, civic and other organizations."


2009 Mission - President Maimon

The 2009-2011 Catalog contained this revised Role and Mission statement on p. 7:

"Governors State University is committed to offering an exceptional and accessible education that imbues students with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to succeed in a global society. GSU is dedicated to creating an intellectually stimulating public square, serving as an economic catalyst for the region, and being a model of diversity and responsible citizenship."

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