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
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.
Our Strategic Plan outlines the next path forward for our mission by focusing on 5
Academic Programs & Offerings – including initiatives to foster a rich, student-centered
educational experience and spur a culture of data-driven decision making across the
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
Pride and Community – sharing in our Founders’ emphasis on opportunity and excellence
Enhancing Resources – by encouraging revenue-generating innovation.
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.
Associate Provost of
Assessment & Accreditation