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About FEI and Navigate

Guiding Principles

Venn diagram with three cirlces. The top circle is labeled "Mission". The bottom left circle is labeled "continuous improvement". The bottom right circle is labeled "strategic plan." Where the three circles converge is labeled "FEI".

​The Ferris Equity Initiative (FEI) represents not only the Vision that our Founder established more than 135 years ago, but it is also grounded in our Core Values and aligned with and informed by our Mission, Strategic Plan, and our commitment to Continuous Improvement.


Everything we do must be aligned with and supportive of our Mission, especially in these challenging times.
Preparing students for successful careers, responsible citizenship, and lifelong learning in a rapidly changing global economy and society DEMANDS that we do everything we can to create a student success strategy that enables ALL students to not only access an education, but to ultimately find success in their pursuit of that education.

Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan outlines the next path forward for our mission by focusing on 5 key areas:
Academic Programs & Offerings – including initiatives to foster a rich, student-centered educational experience and spur a culture of data-driven decision making across the University
Student Success – with students at the center of everything we do and initiatives to champion degree completion
Institutional Effectiveness – where we are committed to engage in a thorough review of university structures and processes and strive to develop a more effective and transparent campus by standardizing and integrating the use of existing campus software and systems
Pride and Community – sharing in our Founders’ emphasis on opportunity and excellence
Enhancing Resources – by encouraging revenue-generating innovation.

Continuous Improvement

As a University, our commitment to continuous improvement was proudly showcased in our recent Higher Learning Commission Reaffirmation. We saw this in our HLC Quality Initiative projects in the years leading up to the visit, and in the very preparation of the HLC report and visit itself, our ENTIRE University community demonstrated a strong commitment to continuous improvement. One of the most impactful lessons I learned through the HLC process was the necessity of identifying gaps. We cannot address what we do not acknowledge. We had to be transparent with our shortcomings and be willing to engage a diverse set of individuals to develop and execute solutions. We used a lot of data to inform that work, and we closed a lot of gaps. I cannot help but to draw that parallel when I think about the Ferris Equity Initiative. The reality is that despite all that we do to reach and serve students, inequities exist; and it is these inequities that prevent us from fully realizing the vision of our Founder and the mission we have today.

Over the years I have heard countless times from many people in this meeting today that you work here because you believe in the mission of our university. The Ferris Equity Initiative embodies ALL of these guiding principles, our mission, vision, values and our strategic plan, and applies a framework to not only address equity gaps for specific populations of students, but to support and increase the rate of success for all students. I will next turn it over to VP Pilgrim who will describe more about what the Ferris Equity Initiative is and what it aims to address. As you engage with each other throughout the conversation today, I challenge you to keep our mission, vision and values at the front of your mind and consider how you can engage in the work of this initiative to ensure that we remain guided by these principles as we work together to close equity gaps.

~Mandy Seiferlein
Associate Provost of
Assessment & Accreditation