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2024-2027 Strategic Plan - Ferris Forward: Relevant and Responsive


Strategic Pillars

Students belonging


Belonging is a multi-faceted experience that can occur when individuals are provided a secure environment that values, respects, supports, and celebrates individual similarities and differences, creating an inclusive community allowing members to thrive authentically.  *Working definition*

Student innovation


A creative approach to problem-solving and experimentation that leads to implementation of new ideas that continuously improve and add value to all Ferris State University stakeholders. *Working definition*

Student excellence

Student Excellence

Ferris State University defines student excellence as a commitment to personal and academic growth through relevant experiences and a mastery of applicable knowledge.  At Ferris, excellent students develop the capabilities that enable them to continuously learn, adapt, serve, and perform in their careers and as active citizens.  *Working definition*



Sustainability is making deliberate decisions to serve the people, environment, and economic viability of our campus in a regenerative manner to conserve and enhance our resources to the benefit of current and future generations.    
*Working definition*

Guiding Principles


  • The strategic plan should align with and be driven by the University's core values, vision, and mission. 
  • Words matter. We will search hard for the right words. But ultimately, we must work to create the University where we want to study and work.  
  • We must do more than say, "It's all about the students." Our actions must be relentlessly student-centered.  
  • The plan will build on current work at the University but not be limited by that work.  
  • All University community members will be given opportunities for meaningful participation in this planning process. 
  • This plan will serve as a lead document for other major university planning efforts, including planning for the Higher Learner Commission and the Academic Master Plan. 
  • We recognize the financial challenges of the University, but we must still, where possible, be aspirational.  
  • We will look for opportunities to prioritize the University's work, beginning new efforts while ending some current work. 
  • The actions in this plan must be relevant and responsive.  

Committee Structure 

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Charge for the Strategic Plan Steering Committee  
The Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) will provide guidance and support to ensure the success of Ferris State University's strategic planning process. The Committee's work will inspire the Ferris community to explore opportunities centered around the four pillars of the plan: Student Excellence, Belonging, Innovation, and Sustainability. As overseers of the planning process, the SPSC will take responsibility for considering and incorporating, as appropriate, the recommendations from workgroups into the final strategic plan. A fundamental aspect of the steering committee's responsibility is ensuring our extensive community is engaged. To shape a definitive path for Ferris State University's future, the SCSP will rely on workgroup assessments, encompassing initiatives, critical numerical metrics, and input from university community members. 

Strategic Planning Steering Committee and Workgroups




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