Vision, Mission, Values and Core Principles


IIT will be internationally recognized in distinctive areas of education and research, using as its platform the global city of Chicago, driven by a professional and technology-oriented focus, and based on a culture of innovation and excellence.

The Key Words

Internationally Recognized in Distinctive Areas

Research themes and educational programs must be interdisciplinary to achieve national/international distinction. We have no academic unit that is large enough or prominent enough to carry the university's research and educational reputation on its own. We need premier, highly recognized positions in a few interdisciplinary areas to raise the visibility of IIT. Resource allocations will be influenced by our goal of international recognition, and we will build on existing strengths that offer us comparative advantages.

Education and Research

Innovation in education and research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels is required to capture the public's attention, to attract a broader spectrum of high-quality students, and to differentiate IIT from similar technology-oriented institutions. Students will select IIT because they gain an educational experience that is not replicated at other universities and is valued by our graduates, and because IIT prepares them for success throughout their careers. Leadership, entrepreneurial and creative activity, an understanding of the process of design, global awareness, and an appreciation of diversity and excellence will all become hallmarks of an IIT education, in addition to discipline-specific mastery taught by outstanding scholars.

Scholarship and research excellence in our faculty and students will be valued at IIT. Ph.D. education will be stressed, as doctoral students often go on to occupy leadership positions in industry, government, and academe, thereby bringing distinction to the university. The interplay between education and research can be understood by remembering the following:Research is the intellectual marketing of a university, but education is the core activity. If done properly, the synergy between research and education leads to improvements in both. We will become excellent in both research and education.


IIT's presence in Chicago serves the university in two ways: it supports IIT's international recruiting efforts through Chicago's growing reputation as an international destination city; and it provides real opportunities to shape IIT's educational and research initiatives. IIT's growing program in math and science education, focused on Chicago Public Schools, provides a key example of the way IIT is working with the city. IIT will become a positive influence for change by applying our innovations initially for the benefit of Chicago.

Professional and Technology-Oriented

IIT made its reputation as a strong engineering school with additional strengths in science, architecture, and design. The title of the university reinforces this image. The future of the university rests on regaining a national/international reputation in engineering and science in a way that connects to and elevates the entire university. The stature of our design school and the reputation of law, psychology, business, and architecture now present an opportunity to leverage our assets between the technical and professional disciplines.

Innovation and Excellence

Midway through the twentieth century, IIT inherited the extraordinary legacy in innovation of the German Bauhaus. (Founded in 1919, the Bauhaus was the European center for architecture and design until the mid-1930s.) Both the Institute of Design and the College of Architecture stemmed from the Bauhaus's path-breaking creativity that led to modern design and architecture. IIT should embrace this legacy by seeking transformational events to make a step change in quality and recognition. Such events occur in an environment, like that of the Bauhaus, that nurtures new ideas. New ideas must be protected from the dominance of status quo. The university must become an experimental studio to test new ideas, free from constraints imposed by rigid organizational structures. We will also encourage innovation that leads to enterprise by allowing students, faculty, and staff to have access to our Incubator and University Technology Park to follow their innovation from concept to enterprise.

A commitment to excellence must be adopted by both academic and non-academic units of the university. We must challenge ourselves to reduce the boundaries between our academic units in order to bring greater recognition to IIT through collaboration, an emphasis on excellence, and a commitment to diversity and a respectful work environment. We must improve our administrative processes to properly serve our students and their parents, and to support our faculty and staff. Continuous improvement of our educational and research programs will lift the university in quality, prestige, and financial resources. We must strive for improvement and achieve excellence in all activities throughout the university.


To provide distinctive and relevant education in an environment of scientific, technological, and professional knowledge creation and innovation.

This mission statement, proposed by IIT's academic deans, captures explicitly the character of the new education paradigm being created by the collective contributions of IIT's academic units in both education and research. The key word in the mission statement is "relevant," embracing the faculty's commitment to education that focuses on preparing our students for fulfilled lives after graduation and careers that contribute to solving important problems facing humanity.

Values and Core Principles

The culture of a university is a shared system of values, beliefs, and attitudes that shapes and influences behavior. The culture is determined through the organization from top to bottom and from generation to generation. We must live our values in order to continuously improve. We define our culture by seven core operating principles that guide us through our planning. While these principles do not in themselves define a strategy, a successful plan requires adhering to them.

Focus on Students

Our primary mission is not only to educate students in their chosen disciplines, but also to inspire them to become innovators, leaders, and positive contributors to society.

Strengthen Faculty and Staff

The faculty inspire and direct all we do academically, from basic education to discovery and the creation of new concepts, systems, and products. The staff deliver our administrative services and partner with the faculty to ensure an excellent student experience.

Foster Leadership and Ethical Decision-Making

Leadership and ethical decision-making are essential for growth of the person and the organization. Leadership development is an important component of education for all segments of the university-faculty, students, and staff. Succession planning is required to continuously promote excellence.

Commit to Diversity and Excellence

If we are to both remain relevant and attract the highest caliber of students, faculty, and staff, we must ensure that our community is inclusive and open to all viewpoints. A culture of excellence must pervade the university in both academic and non-academic areas.

Focus on Resource Management

The financial well-being of the institution is critical for our success. We will embrace responsibility-centered management to achieve financial strength and expect that all members of the IIT community, including alumni, are responsible for enhancing our resources.

Heighten Reputation

All units of the university will benefit from the international recognition of any one of them; we must continuously work at gaining recognition as a university. Preeminence in several academic areas must be achieved for us to gain the international reputation we desire.

Engage Alumni

Our greatest legacy is our alumni and their many contributions to business and society. We will celebrate their many achievements as a foundation of the IIT story. We will engage our alumni in planning for the future of IIT and rely upon our alumni for their involvement and philanthropic support in the execution of this plan.