Core Qualities and University Goals of
JMU's Strategic Plan for 2020-2026

JMU defines the commitment to our mission through the Core Qualities.  We use these as both statements of current truth as well as aspirational hopes. We are nationally prominent, and we are seeking to broaden our national footprint. We are assertively inclusive, and we want to expand the opportunities that students have in gaining access to JMU and succeeding here.

Each core quality is supported by a series of supporting goals, that are themselves supported by objectives written and tracked in our academic units and university departments.

The Core Qualities and University Goals are kept current and relevant through the work of the University Planning Team, a committee with faculty, staff, and student representation from across the university. The primary purpose of this group is to develop and maintain the Core Qualities and University Goals to reflect the current scope of the university’s priorities to meet its mission and vision.


National Prominence

Our faculty, staff, students and programs earn national prominence, expanding JMU’s strong reputation.

  • Goal 1A: The university will be recognized as a national university known for outstanding and innovative programs and services.
  • Goal 1B: The university will maintain status as a Carnegie Doctoral University (R2) in order to advance research, the quality of the undergraduate experience, the effectiveness of the graduate school and the pursuit of national prominence.
  • Goal 1C: Students will have access to employment opportunities nationally and internationally.
  • Goal 1D: The university will successfully recruit and retain students from across the nation and the world.

Access, Inclusion and Diversity

We embrace access, inclusivity and diversity because they are the foundational cornerstones of equitable experiences leading to an outstanding education and environment for students, faculty and staff.

  • Goal 2A: The university will cultivate a campus climate of inclusive excellence and belonging.
  • Goal 2B: The university will implement policies, programs and practices to increase the inclusive excellence of students, faculty and staff.
  • Goal 2C:The university will expand access and build bridges to cross existing socioeconomic, geographic, learning and/or other barriers to participation in academic pursuits and campus activities.
  • Goal 2D The university will strengthen its ability to compete for students and expand access by annually increasing grant and scholarship offerings and reducing average student debt.
  • Goal 2E: The university will value a culture of inclusivity and sense of belonging in teaching, research and service.
  • Goal 2F: The university’s approach to recruitment and retention will be strategic and visionary, resulting in a student body that reflects the priorities of the Commonwealth, students and the university.
  • Goal 2G: The university will develop new initiatives and continue to expand support for the success of non-traditional students.

Academic Quality: Outstanding Programs

We believe in the relevance and importance of the liberal arts and sciences and are committed to maintaining strong student/faculty interaction. Our distinguished faculty and staff offer academically challenging programs, providing an exemplary undergraduate education and distinctive graduate programs while maintaining accountability for learning through effective assessment.

  • Goal 3A: The university will foster student success by providing a holistic learning environment focused on intellectual and educational development.
  • Goal 3B: The university will provide high-impact learning experiences such as student research, service learning, internships, and study abroad programs in a climate that fosters intellectual engagement in and outside the classroom.
  • Goal 3C: The university will attract and retain top faculty, staff, and students from across the Commonwealth, nation, and the world.
  • Goal 3D: The university will be a national leader in the assessment of learning.
  • Goal 3E: The university will develop programs that are responsive to the needs of the Commonwealth, nation, and the world.
  • Goal 3F: The university will evolve its educational and business model to serve the public good and workforce development through a commitment to life-long learning.
  • Goal 3G: The university will be an active part of the Commonwealth’s Tech Talent Pipeline initiative, developing programs in technology and emerging fields to serve the needs of our students and the prosperity of Virginia.

Academic Quality: Excellence in Teaching and Scholarly Endeavors

We are a community committed to academic rigor and teacher-scholar excellence.

  • Goal 4A: The university will make teaching excellence and academic rigor top priorities to support student success.
  • Goal 4B: The university will prioritize a model of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to learning as pathways to innovation, knowledge creation, and problem-solving in our complex global environment.
  • Goal 4C: The university will provide appropriate levels of sustainable support, oversight, and accountability for students, faculty, and staff engaged in research, scholarship, and creative endeavors.
  • Goal 4D: The university’s mission, vision, values, and/or core qualities will be reflected in academic policies, faculty hiring, mentoring, and evaluation and in curriculum development.

Health and Well-Being

We provide programs and services to help the JMU community develop their health and well-being so they thrive now and in the future.

  • Goal 5A: The university will provide high quality programs and services that challenge and support students in dimensions of wellness necessary to thrive.
  • Goal 5B: The university will provide high quality services to develop and maintain the physical health of our students, including fitness and exercise, medical care, and wellness practices.
  • Goal 5C: The university will create a campus environment that encourages students to have strong personal relationships, a healthy identity, and accountability for their choices.
  • Goal 5D: To foster health and well-being, the university will identify and provide tools and resources to assist staff as well as faculty who are drawn to JMU’s commitment to teaching and research.

Student Life & Success

We provide students with programs and services that foster knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors that develop personal integrity and support student success.

  • Goal 6A: The university will ensure that its curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular efforts are outcome-based and focused on fostering student learning, development, and integrity.
  • Goal 6B: The university will provide high quality advising services and programs that directly support students’ acclimation to the university, success to and through graduation, and meaningful and productive lives after college.
  • Goal 6C: The university will streamline student progression to graduation regardless of the student’s entry point to the university.


We build and expand engaged learning, civic engagement and community engagement so that we are more effective at creating meaning and helping to solve real-world problems.

  • Goal 7A: The university will address community priorities by being deeply embedded in local, regional and global communities through mutually beneficial and reciprocal partnerships to create student learning opportunities and align institutional practices.
  • Goal 7B: The university builds capacity to institutionalize voter education and engagement as a year-round endeavor, supports integration of civic learning in courses and academic programs, and advances civic learning and democratic engagement opportunities across Virginia and the nation.
  • Goal 7C: The university supports students’ skill development through engaged learning.
  • Goal 7D: The university will advance learning by reflecting the complete life and work of James Madison throughout its culture, courses, and programs.

Faculty & Staff Success

We foster a culture that supports healthy work-life integration as well as personal and professional growth for all faculty and staff.

  • Goal 8A: The university will continue its commitment to the investment of resources to support a wide array of professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.
  • Goal 8B: The university will support meaningful workplace involvement by providing faculty and staff with resources and opportunities to contribute to decision-making processes that impact their work.

Recreation and Athletics

Our university community values the richness that recreational activities and outstanding intercollegiate athletics bring to our campus culture and supports the development of a wide range of opportunities.

  • Goal 9A: Student-athletes, teams and coaches will compete annually for NCAA post-season appearances and earn conference, Commonwealth, and national recognition for excellence in both academics and athletics.
  • Goal 9B: The university will value student-athletes by supporting their academic success.
  • Goal 9C: The university will provide recreational programs and activities that address the needs and interests of the university community.

Fiscal and Facility Stewardship

We develop diversified revenues, build and maintain useful and attractive facilities and leverage innovative technologies to achieve our goals.

  • Goal 10A: The university will be a safe, attractive, and friendly place to learn and work.
  • Goal 10B: The university will incorporate best practices — state-of-the-art classroom spaces, sustainability (e.g. LEED Certification), effective use of technology, accessibility, etc. — in the renovation and construction of facilities.
  • Goal 10C: The university will focus on maximizing operating income through new and innovative revenue strategies in support of financial stability.
  • Goal 10D: The university will consistently evaluate the effectiveness of programs and the potential of new initiatives in making resource-related decisions, “sunsetting,” combining, or streamlining in the interest of improved performance and based on established criteria.
  • Goal 10E: The university will leverage current and emerging technologies in support of collaboration with the community, Commonwealth, region and the world to deliver quality in-person and online learning opportunities.
  • Goal 10F: The university will use technology effectively to distribute information, services, and programs to the JMU community.
  • Goal 10G: The university will adopt a financial model that emphasizes affordability and expands access, presenting a market-dominant value proposition.

A Culture of Philanthropy

Members of our community understand that everyone has a meaningful role to play in giving their time, talent and/or treasure toward the philanthropic advancement of the university.

  • Goal 11A: The university will welcome and activate the talents of all our constituents in ways that are mutually meaningful.
  • Goal 11B: JMU will develop and promote bold, ambitious and inspiring giving opportunities that result in our constituents giving proudly and loyally at all levels.

Back to Top