Office of the President > Strategic Directions > Grounded in Mission
DePaul will be unequaled among urban universities in the United States in ensuring the success of a diverse community of learners. Through programs that integrate theory with practice and ideas with action, DePaul’s expert and dedicated faculty and staff will develop students’ readiness to engage with and thrive in a changing world. The university will broaden its historical mission of access to address the lifelong learning needs of our students by providing innovative and affordable programs and varied curricular structures and modes of delivery. Equipped with a transformative education grounded in our Catholic and Vincentian values, DePaul graduates will be recognized as effective and responsible change agents.
View the Grounded in Mission plan brochure.
IN AN ERA WHEN HIGHER EDUCATION IS INCREASINGLY CHALLENGED TO DEMONSTRATE ITS VALUE, DePaul University exemplifies how a mission-driven institution responds to pressing human problems and transforms communities through education, collective engagement, and innovation.
Guided by our Catholic, Vincentian, and urban mission, the university respects the dignity of each person within and beyond the DePaul community. We continue to strengthen what makes DePaul unique: respected academics, real-world knowledge, and a commitment to social responsibility, all informed by the place we call home—the urban and multicultural city of Chicago. The university’s distinctive mission establishes a strong foundation of inclusive liberal-arts education, religious pluralism, and social justice—responsibilities that endure in the life of the university today. Each member of the DePaul community helps fulfill this educational and societal mission. Our distinguished faculty, both full-time and part-time, and dedicated staff contribute to students’ learning inside and outside the classroom. We share a primary and enduring commitment to the education of underserved populations, including students who are first-generation, low-income, immigrants or students of color, affording them the opportunity to make a difference in the trajectory of their lives and communities.
At DePaul, our teaching, scholarship, creative work, and public service must have transformative impact beyond the academy. DePaul has been deeply engaged with Chicago for more than a century to the benefit of our city and our students. Students’ learning is shaped by a city that is a vital node in the global economic system and home to vibrant immigrant communities. Mastering curricula that blend theory with practice, our graduates are prepared to work, succeed, and contribute in the global community. Through classes, research, and service, students engage the complexities of today’s world—the effects of globalization, growing inequality, economic instability, and changing sociopolitical climates, all amplified by the digital revolution—and are empowered to develop solutions. DePaul students, faculty, and staff bridge divides through a collective vision of collaboration, building entrepreneurial and productive partnerships across disciplines, institutions, industries, and geographies. In all we do, we recognize that meaningful inclusion of diverse voices strengthens our teaching, research, service, and outreach.
Students’ ability to access and obtain a high-quality education is integral to our shared work of fostering an equitable society. We embrace the ideals of lifelong learning and a vibrant culture of intellectual and creative discovery that contribute to the university and the greater community. We live in a world defined by rapid technological change. We prepare our students to thrive in a digital economy, unleashing their creativity to meet the challenges of a dynamic society. What is true for our students and alumni is also true for us as educators; we, too, must continually evolve as scholars, makers, mentors, and teachers as technology and the science of learning transform our work.
The goals articulated here guide our evolution as a mission-driven university dedicated to continuous improvements that support better student outcomes. As we consider the actions we will take in this plan, we also must look forward to what lies beyond 2024. Members of the DePaul community—students, faculty, staff, and alumni—must remain mindful of how each step helps us respond to urgent human needs and enables us to transform communities through education, engagement, and innovation. Our Catholic and Vincentian tradition calls on us to be leaders who make a better world while stewarding our resources, so we continue these important efforts throughout DePaul’s second century.