University Mission, Vision and Values

University Mission

“Fairleigh Dickinson University is a center of academic excellence dedicated to the preparation of world citizens through global education. The University strives to provide students with the multi-disciplinary, intercultural, and ethical understandings necessary to participate, lead, and prosper in the global marketplace of ideas, commerce, and culture.”

Fairleigh Dickinson University’s mission statement was formally articulated in 2000 and approved at that time by the University’s Board of Trustees. However, its origin dates back much further and it reflects the rich history, innovation, and responsiveness to real-world concerns that have come to define a Fairleigh Dickinson University education.

Both the University’s vision and mission are rooted in the beliefs of its founder, in the traditions and legacies forged by generations of faculty and students, in the opportunities and challenges of today’s interconnected world, and in the values expressed consistently by a collaborative and caring community.

The University’s mission, vision, and core values have permeated each strategic plan in its 75-year history, and will again provide the foundation for the next stage of its development.

Vision and Values

Fairleigh Dickinson University strives to be a leading institution of higher education dedicated to empowering its faculty and staff to provide innovative programming, respond with integrity and agility to emerging challenges, cultivate student success, and prepare graduates to fulfill their potential, transform their lives, and become competent and responsible citizens of the world.

Fairleigh Dickinson aspires to international distinction by providing outstanding global learning opportunities for an increasingly diverse student body. Our reputation is based on a set of historically evolved core values, which have come to characterize the spirit and identity of Fairleigh Dickinson University. Members of the University community agree to be accountable to each other and to the students they serve, and are determined to demonstrate their commitment to the following core values on an ongoing basis.


Fairleigh Dickinson is a community of teachers, learners, scholars, and professionals committed to sustaining and advancing an educational environment of the highest quality through shared concern for the welfare of students, faculty development, research and original thought, collegiality, mutual respect for one another, and the highest standards of professional behavior.

The University was founded and has flourished over the years through the vision, sacrifices, and efforts of the special people who have been members of our community. Over the years, we have met many challenges and have overcome many obstacles, and the efforts and sacrifices of those in the University community have made this possible. Their work and dedication have created a special place to work, study, and learn, and thousands of students have achieved a better quality of life because of them. Mutual respect, faithful integrity, and genuine appreciation for each other are our foundational values.


Fairleigh Dickinson has an original and long-standing commitment to access and opportunity for diverse populations.

Fairleigh Dickinson University has earned a well-deserved reputation for providing “access” as a critical core value — access to high-quality global learning opportunities for students from varied economic, ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds, as well as diverse geographic areas. We not only believe that “access” is a social obligation, but also that diversity is an academic value that enriches the learning environment for all students. In addition, we believe that comparable and analogous diversity in the faculty, administration, and staff helps provide effective role models and demonstrates that we believe in the values we teach.

With the advent of new technologies, the University now has the ability to increase its reach to new population centers and is no longer constrained to address simply those people who are within reasonable commuting distances from its physical campuses. Learning without boundaries allows Fairleigh Dickinson University to reinforce its commitment to aspiring learners, wherever they are, to enhance and invigorate the learning environment, and to expand its presence, reputation, and program accessibility around the world.


Keeping faith with the international vision of its founder, Fairleigh Dickinson strives to impress every student with the power and value of world citizenship.

Today, more than ever, the necessity of coping with the global realities of commerce, finance, political change, communication, national and local security, and environmental hazards requires an education that sensitizes and empowers the graduate as an international citizen. The undergraduate experience is meant to be life-shaping, providing the foundations for personal growth, maturity of character, and responsible world citizenship. The diverse cultural outlook that permeates the academic and campus life experiences of our students prepares them to extend their horizons from the neighborhood to the world.


Fairleigh Dickinson believes that the liberal arts and sciences contribute directly to professional education while providing graduates with life-long skills to respond to unimagined and unpredicted changes in the marketplace.

An FDU education creates an effective balance of liberal arts and career skills along with a set of high ethical standards. A thorough grounding in traditional liberal arts disciplines is provided, along with the professional skills graduates need to succeed through the dynamic and changing career environments they will experience. Our undergraduate liberal arts offerings also serve as a solid foundation for students who choose graduate and professional schools, while our own graduate programs deliver the highest quality of accredited disciplinary and professional training to both full-time and working students. Our commitment to lifelong learning is also illustrated in the wide variety of acclaimed continuing education programs that are available to students of all ages, and from all walks of life.


Fairleigh Dickinson is committed to currency in the disciplines it teaches, in the scholarship of its faculty, and in the careers it promotes.

At Fairleigh Dickinson University, we have a strong commitment to assuring that our academic offerings prepare students for the world of today and tomorrow. Our faculty are well prepared and current in their subject matter and disciplines; in many cases they are among the regional and national leaders in their fields.

We encourage professional and personal growth in our faculty and staff and continuously monitor emerging trends to ensure that everyone has the best available academic and professional preparation, that all programs are responsive to the latest developments outside our walls, and that we employ teaching methodologies that reflect current “best practices” — utilizing a wide variety of presentation modalities, from traditional classroom lectures to fully online formats. In addition, we continuously engage in a process of self-improvement through ongoing efforts to assess student learning outcomes and increase student success.


Fairleigh Dickinson respects and practices partnership and civic responsibility.

In the current market environment, a private university needs to build effective partnerships to continue to be sustainable and to thrive. Strategic partnerships with other institutions of higher learning, area businesses, and foundations through our alumni, our neighbors, and others not only help to fund our educational endeavors, but also contribute to a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and opportunities that contribute to a more powerful learning environment.

Fairleigh Dickinson University endorses and embraces a commitment to civic engagement through community service and involvement — with service learning being part of a mosaic of academic pathways and a commitment to sustainability, in both attitude and action.


Fairleigh Dickinson prizes and encourages agility in its people and programs.

Since its birth, Fairleigh Dickinson University has developed a reputation for agility — the ability to recognize an opportunity, need, or problem and then move rapidly to action as part of the solution. This entrepreneurial spirit is deeply ingrained in the history of the University, and Fairleigh Dickinson remains committed to responding with creativity, flexibility, and innovation to emerging challenges and student needs. This trait, which is rare among higher education institutions, has and will continue to give Fairleigh Dickinson a competitive advantage within the higher education landscape.