Western Kentucky University (WKU) prepares students of all backgrounds to be productive, engaged, and socially responsible citizen-leaders of a global society. The University provides research, service and lifelong learning opportunities for its students, faculty, and other constituents. WKU enriches the quality of life for those within its reach.
WKU is engaged in internationally acclaimed, student-and-learning-centered academic programs. The WKU experience occurs on several unique campus environments and through an overarching spirit which attracts an intellectually exciting and diverse family of the nation's best students. WKU provides students of all backgrounds with rigorous academic programs in education, the liberal arts and sciences, the health sciences, and business, with emphasis at the baccalaureate and masters levels, complemented by relevant associate and doctoral level programs. The University places a premium on student learning; it is committed to ensuring value in a holistic learning experience through high standards for student achievement and conduct, a strong faculty, technological innovation, personalized attention, broad access, and public accountability for actions and outcomes. Out-of-the-classroom and study abroad experiences enhance learning, promote diversity, and contribute to the success of students.
The University encourages engaged research and public service in support of economic development, quality of life, and improvement of education at all levels. WKU faculty contribute to the identification and solution of key social, economic, scientific, health, and environmental problems. An inspiring and talented faculty promotes a high level of creative activity and diverse scholarship and an entrepreneurial attitude designed to expand knowledge, improve instruction, increase learning, and provide applied solutions toward high-quality service to the state and nation. The University directly supports its constituents in its designated service areas of Kentucky with professional and technical expertise, cultural enrichment, and educational assistance.
Maintaining a campus of distinctive history and character, WKU sustains a student population of increasing quality. It fulfills its responsibility for access through its main and regional campuses, and through extensive distance learning opportunities. WKU recognizes that its mission continues to evolve in response to regional, national, and global changes, and the need for lifelong learning.
Shared purposes and beliefs drive the decisions and actions of any organization or institution. The core values that undergird the foundations of WKU are reflected in the University’s vision, mission, and purpose statements, and in the goals of the strategic plan.
The rich heritage that is WKU's has been built upon a foundation of shared values that have withstood the test of time and the challenges of many changes. These values are deeply embedded in the words of WKU's first President, Dr. Henry Hardin Cherry, as he set forth a vision for this University:
This vision is further reflected in Dr. Cherry’s oft-quoted reminder that “It’s what’s above the rim that counts” and in the two University ideals expressed in the University seal: “Life More Life” and the University motto: “The Spirit Makes the Master.”
Building upon these long lasting values, the following core values represent a reaffirmation of the shared purposes and beliefs upon which this strategic plan is built: