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Valparaiso University is announcing to the public a bold new Strategic Plan that calls for innovation, increased enrollment and financial sustainability.

A two-year engagement process preceded the formation of the Strategic Plan, and involved faculty, staff, students, board members, alumni, and community members.

The Strategic Plan was approved by the Board of Directors in October 2010, with three statements of purpose:

• Create competitive advantage

• Ensure financial sustainability

• Deepen commitment to Valparaiso University among faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the general community

Lutheran leadership defines the new plan as Valpo seeks to become the world’s premier international Lutheran university. The University’s now-articulated vision to be “constituted by people of many and various beliefs and backgrounds in dialogue with one another, in common pursuit of truth” is the foundation that has made Valpo such a distinctive place for the last 152 years.

The leadership of Valparaiso University remains committed to its position as a community of learning dedicated to excellence, grounded in the Lutheran tradition of scholarship, freedom and faith, preparing students to lead and serve.

“As we think about Valpo’s future, we must take this distinctive Lutheran tradition and translate it for new generations of students who will come to us,” said Valparaiso University President Mark A. Heckler, who was inaugurated in October 2008.

Regardless of what their religious tradition might be, students want a place to learn in which faith and calling play important roles, Heckler said.

“People want to learn in an environment of academic rigor and the freedom to inquire without constraint,” Heckler said. “People want a place where they can come together and learn how to navigate difference and disagreement with care, compassion and mutual respect. They seek a nexus for interfaith and inter-religious dialogue. Valpo must become that place.”

Among the detailed proposals advanced in the plan:

• Every student will benefit from a significant cross-cultural learning experience while at Valparaiso University.

• The University’s enrollment will increase from 4,100 to 6,000 students, with a significant portion from other nations.

• An Institute for Leadership and Service will be established to link vocation more directly with the mission of the institution.

A series of presentations by the president is bringing the Strategic Plan to Valparaiso University alumni locally, and in Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Minneapolis. These presentations, under the name “Our Common Pursuit: Valpo’s Call to Lead and Serve for the Next Generation,” provide an overview of the plan that will guide Valparaiso University’s growth and development for the next two decades. Additional cities and dates will be added this fall.

With an anticipated record class of incoming students expected to enroll in fall 2011, and new engineering and academic buildings under construction, the Valparaiso University community is looking toward a bright future filled with promise and opportunity.

“This is an exciting era in the life of Valparaiso University,” Heckler said. “We are engaged in a common pursuit: launching a transformative effort to become a pinnacle of leadership and service.”

For more information on Valpo, visit valpo.edu, and for details on the Strategic Plan, visit valpo.edu/strategicplan/.