Mission, Vision, and Values


Ensuring Academic Excellence

1.  In light of its Mission, the University will continually re-examine and adjust the core curriculum to achieve an artful and purposeful blend of the arts, sciences, humanities, and theology. Where appropriate, these disciplines will be infused within the professional programs offered. A value-laden education which focuses on justice, ethics, and responsible stewardship within a globally diverse community will be stressed.  

2.  New graduate and undergraduate degree programs of a professional nature will be developed to meet the needs of local, regional, national, and international markets.  

3.  Students will be challenged to embrace life-long learning in and outside of the classroom. Educational experiences will be enhanced by service learning and technology. Use of the library and other external data sources will be emphasized. The University will be technologically current.  

4.  Several programs will be selected for distance education, accelerated completion, and/or other methods and strategies of educational delivery. These methods of instruction will be aimed primarily at, but not restricted to, the adult learner. Other initiatives will be taken to actively join local and regional communities in providing educational programming to benefit the socioeconomic development of the region.  

5.  The Diamond Program will be resourced, monitored, assessed, and improved. It will include the Bridge Program, the Voices/ Values Program, and a 21st Century Honor’s Program, and will become a national leader for addressing the challenges facing higher education in the 21st Century. 

Modeling the Lifestyle of a Functional Christian Community

6.  Utilizing the resources at its disposal, the University will encourage all students to examine the moral and theological components of one’s life. 

7.  The college and seminary will join to offer educational programs to the community which will build upon the expertise available with both faculties.  

8.  The University’s policies will create a “community where diversity is appreciated and Christian love is practiced.” Emphasis will be placed on student life for constructive learning and for the opportunity to help one another with our individual journeys of faith.

9.  Respecting freedom of academic thought and discourse, the University will adopt an Honor Code of behavior which is congruent with the Mission of the University for all faculty, staff, students, and members of the Board of Trustees. The University will resolve its conflicts with justice and compassion.  

10. The Lester and Michael Lester Wendt Center for Character Education will become nationally recognized and a leader among colleges and universities in the area of ethics and character.

11. A campus-wide Wellness Committee will be established, and coordinated wellness initiatives for students, faculty, and staff will become part of our community life together.  

Sharing our Message

12. The University will practice the highest ethical standards in its marketing efforts and in the services it offers. 

13. Local groups will be encouraged to host their functions on campus. The University will seek to host synod and other Church-related meetings on campus. 

14. The University will maintain a sophisticated plan for the marketing of its image and programs. The participation of faculty, staff, and students within the ecclesiastical and secular communities will be supported. The University will partner with other entities that are congruent with its mission. 

Ensuring our Future

15. An enrollment management plan will be developed and implemented to attain a full-time traditional undergraduate student body of between 1400 to 1500; a graduate student body of approximately 150; a Doctor of Ministry enrollment of between 40-50; a face-to-face seminary enrollment of between 95-105; an on-line Master of Divinity program of between 75-90; a baseline enrollment of 845 for the summer program with four percent annual growth; and the LIFE (Learning Institute for Fulfillment and Engagement) adult evening program with an enrollment of 200 or more.  

16. Six year graduation rates will be five percent above our Traditional Masters profile national average as measured by ACT Institutional Data File; first year retention rate (return for second year) will be five percent above our Traditional Masters national average as measured by ACT Institutional Data File; second year retention rate (return for third year) will show a 10 percent improvement as based on UD Fact Book Cohort numbers.  

17. To enhance its mission, the University will continue to grow the endowment; increase the Annual Mission and Vision Fund giving through 100 percent participation from active trustees, 75 percent participation from faculty and staff, and increase Alumni donors to 25 percent of the verified Alumni of record. The University will continue efforts to obtain Foundation grants and appropriate governmental monies. The University also will aggressively pursue innovative non-traditional revenue streams.  

18. The University will be a good steward in the allocation of resources. Salaries and benefits of faculty and staff will be competitive, equitable, tied to a systematic performance review process and, where appropriate, in the top third of identified measurement groups. Partnering, pooling of resources and other such cost-saving strategies will be adopted where sound. The campus master plan, which addresses aesthetics, functionality, and proposed enrollment growth, will be maintained and regularly updated. The strategic plan will be maintained and regularly updated.  

19. Through annual updates of the University of Dubuque “Fact Book,” the University will measure its progress by challenging, pertinent and agreed upon benchmarks such as data provided by the IAICU, CIC, ATS, NAICU, and other resources. 

Mission and Vision

The University of Dubuque is a private university offering undergraduate, graduate, and theological seminary degrees, and other educational opportunities with the intention of educating and forming the whole person. The University is comprised of individuals from the region, our nation, and the world.

As a community, the University practices its Christian commitments by educating students, pursuing excellence in scholarship, challenging students to live lives of worth and purpose, and preparing students for service to the church and the world. 

Therefore, the University of Dubuque is committed to:

  • A hospitable Christian environment which respects other faith traditions;
  • Relationships which encourage intellectual, spiritual, and moral development;
  • Excellence in academic inquiry and professional preparation;
  • A diverse and equitable community where Christian love is practiced;
  • Stewardship of all God’s human and natural resources;
  • Zeal for life-long learning and service.


Ensuring the Future/Capital

Several elements of the Action Plan will require new infusions of capital beyond what can be provided by the University of Dubuque’s annual operating budget or endowment income. The following projects are key areas where major support will be needed to fully implement the Action Plan: 

National Marketing Campaign 

Capital Projects A-List
  • Fine and Performing Arts, Worship, and Campus Center  
  • One of three Residence Halls 
  • Alumni Hall Restoration
Capital Projects B-List
  • Renovation of Severance
  • New Seminary/Office Building
  • Two of three Residence Halls
  • Update Blades Hall  
  • Renovate VanVliet Hall    
Endowment Initiatives

As the University seeks to establish new academic programs, attract and retain an excellent faculty, and provide a high-quality, affordable education for students, it must have the financial stability afforded by a strong endowment. 

Endowment A-List
  • Fine and Performing Arts, Worship, and Campus Center Programming & Maintenance
  • Perpetual Maintenance & Technology
  • Student Scholarships
  • Character Scholarships (25)
  • Faculty Chairs (10)
  • Diamond Program   
Endowment B-List
  • Student Scholarships
  • Character Scholars (25)
  • Wallace-Smith Teaching 
  • Excellence
  • Diamond Program