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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Global Strategic Planning at Northwestern University

Over the past decade, Northwestern University has been engaged in a number of strategic planning exercises aimed at globalizing the University. The University is now working actively to accelerate its globalization and bring these efforts to a fruitful conclusion.

The global strategic planning process is underway with broad participation across the University, including leadership from faculty and administrators in all schools. In order for this strategic plan to be successful, it's crucial that faculty drive the process and that administrators, staff, students, alumni, and global thought leaders alike are engaged.

The process is being convened by Annelise Riles, associate provost for global affairs and executive director of the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs.

Progress to Date

In preparation for writing the Northwestern University Global Strategic Plan, the Associate Provost for Global Affairs and Northwestern Buffett staff have undertaken the following efforts:

  • Analyzing the state of Northwestern’s current engagement with the world, and benchmarking against peer US institutions
  • Compiling 10 years worth of data on Northwestern’s global strategic planning
  • Researching trends in campus internationalization around the world
  • Developing a plan for globalization in line with the University’s strategic priorities, including the proposed Global Alliance Model 

Next Steps

In March, building on the past work of globalization committees, we began to convene groups of faculty, administrators, and students to bring their expertise to bear on key topics. With the help of these groups, initial thoughts will be presented to the Global Council and Northwestern Buffett Faculty Advisory Council for discussion. These councils will, in turn, solicit feedback from faculty and leadership in each college. 

Out of these discussions, early drafts will be shared with University leadership and Faculty Senate leadership. During fall and winter 2019, successive drafts will be shared with the Faculty Senate, Council of Deans, and University units, and the feedback received will be incorporated into further revisions.

It is anticipated that the strategic plan will be submitted to the Board of Trustees in February 2020.