Christopher Newport University academic programs will prepare students to lead lives of significance and responsibility in a free, democratic society. The University anchors its curriculum in the principles of liberal learning. Its curricular design sets high standards for academic achievement and teaching excellence. In the pursuit of excellence, the curriculum provides students complex and challenging material, supported by learning across the disciplines and dedicated to the ideals of scholarship, leadership and service.

Our academic programs will create independent learners prepared intellectually and practically to understand the world. The university curriculum values the historical, philosophical, and scientific traditions that have shaped the world. Its across the disciplines structure promotes the transformation of knowledge and belief into action, stimulates the creative process and cultivates imagination. Educated in the liberal learning curriculum, students understand the changing quality of knowledge and appreciate interrelations within and among global communities.

University Priority I

A Vital Curriculum
An excellent liberal learning curriculum, providing students a rigorous higher education rooted in the liberal arts and sciences and responding to the values inherent in the University's mission.

Goals and Strategies

Goal A: Provide an intellectually challenging and dynamic liberal learning curriculum.

  • Ensure liberal learning within the core curriculum, across the disciplines and within each major.
  • Establish structured intellectual, academic and cultural challenges for each of the four years of undergraduate study.
  • Ensure students are literate in diverse areas of knowledge.

Goal B: Support learning that cultivates critical and innovative thinking.

  • Promote learning that treats knowledge as vibrant and changing.
  • Cultivate analytical and integrative thinking within and across the disciplines.
  • Construct a framework for the development of problem solving abilities.
  • Encourage scholarship across the disciplines.

Goal C: Foster independent student learning.

  • Support, reinforce and encourage intellectual curiosity and creativity.
  • Provide learning opportunities that cultivate a desire for reading and further inquiry.
  • Encourage the wise use of knowledge in the service of human freedom.
  • Cultivate and support undergraduate research and public presentations of the findings.
  • Promote and foster artistic creativity and public presentations in the fine and performing arts.
  • Stimulate a lifelong desire for learning.
  • Continue to expand and update the library collections and services in support of student learning.

Goal D: Connect liberal learning to ethical conduct and civic responsibility .

  • Cultivate a curriculum that encourages the development of personal values.
  • Encourage responsible leadership.
  • Provide opportunities for interpersonal growth and group interaction.
  • Foster a lifelong commitment to honorable living and the common good.
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Christopher Newport University students will achieve academic excellence in a liberal learning curriculum. They will be liberally educated, intentional learners who share responsibility for their education. Achieving academic excellence, CNU students will master a discipline in order to contribute significantly to society and be committed to civic and community service in order to participate as responsible citizens. In their achievement of excellence, students will develop the habits of mind to prepare for additional formal education, as well as the world of work and leisure.

Christopher Newport University alumni will be well prepared for responsible citizenship. They will value ethical conduct and intellectual honesty shaped by a moral identity and a sense of social justice. Prepared to lead responsibly in a diverse society, CNU alumni will recognize and respect the complex identities of others, their histories and their cultures. They will possess a commitment to a lifelong pursuit of knowledge.

University Priority II

A Culture of Student Learning and Engagement
Independent, disciplined and dedicated students committed to learning, scholarship and civic responsibility in a community of honor.

Goals and Strategies

Goal A: Foster campus-wide commitment to academic life and culture.

  • Align campus programs to the principles of liberal learning.
  • Provide a program of rich and diverse cultural opportunities.
  • Expand cultural, geographic, socio-economic and ethnic diversity.
  • Strengthen student transition to university life.
  • Connect learning inside and outside the classroom.
  • Nurture student academic and social communities.
  • Enhance campus cultural and social life.

Goal B: Promote personal initiative, integrity and responsibility for learning.

  • Model scholarly commitment to learning.
  • Involve students in the development and implementation of their "program of study."
  • Reinforce commitment to the university as a community of honor and the University's Honor Code.
  • Promote civic responsibility and global awareness.

Goal C: Sustain and promote a climate of university-wide undergraduate and graduate intellectual engagement.

  • Create an environment in which students, faculty and staff participate in informed discussion.
  • Encourage and support mentorship of students and student-faculty research.
  • Cultivate interactive learning.
  • Ensure a strong connection between undergraduate liberal learning and the graduate programs.
  • Promote excellence in undergraduate and graduate research.
  • Connect graduate programs clearly to the University's mission.
  • Foster aesthetic sensibilities across the disciplines.

Goal D: Connect liberal learning to community outreach through service and leadership.

  • Create opportunities for students to participate in leadership and service.
  • Establish and maintain campus-wide coordination of community service and internships.
  • Recognize and reward outstanding leadership and service.

Goal E: Create learning opportunities that expand individual potential.

  • Prepare students to succeed in a diverse and global society.
  • Prepare learned, disciplined and skilled graduates to meet the rapidly changing challenges of a professional life.
  • Promote an understanding of ethics and ethical values.
  • Promote study abroad.
  • Support departmental honors awards.

Goal F: Foster a culture of academic success as reflected in retention and graduation rates.

  • Strengthen and focus the first year experience.
  • Develop a mentor program between upper class and first year students.
  • Create sophomore and junior class recognition ceremonies.
  • Encourage student involvement in campus life and culture.
  • Provide preparation for graduate and professional schools.
  • Enhance the quality of student life through expanded student services.
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The Faculty will be a respected body of teacher-scholars, committed to the values of Christopher Newport University. In their commitment to the University, members of the faculty will possess broad academic interests and a primary academic expertise which foster their participation in an interdisciplinary university curriculum. The faculty will be inspired, rigorous and creative teachers, with the University and its students at the center of their professional lives. Accomplished researchers and scholars who hold the highest academic credentials in their respective disciplines, they will be representative in their intellectual diversity of the broad spectrum of liberal learning.

The faculty will be substantively engaged with students of the University - beyond the classroom - in contexts that develop scholarship, leadership and service. They will be full participants in all dimensions of the life of the University and full collegial partners in governing the university and in shaping its future. Members of the university faculty will be contributors to - and leaders of - the civic, artistic, scientific, commercial and educational enterprises of the region, the Commonwealth and the nation.

University Priority III

An Inspired Faculty
An exceptional faculty of respected teacher-scholars who thrive in a community of honor committed to liberal learning and civic responsibility.

Goals and Strategies

Goal A: Cultivate a faculty committed to teaching and learning excellence and to university citizenship.

  • Recruit and retain an exceptional and diverse faculty committed to the University's mission.
  • Ensure exceptional quality of faculty life.
  • Nurture a faculty committed to faculty-student intellectual engagement.
  • Enhance faculty development resources and opportunities.
  • Clarify faculty professional responsibilities.

Goal B: Recognize and support faculty innovations and achievements tied to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.

  • Value and support faculty research and scholarship.
  • Support pedagogical innovation.
  • Encourage and support cross-disciplinary teaching and scholarship.
  • Encourage and support diverse approaches to outstanding teaching and scholarship.
  • Create opportunities to acknowledge outstanding teaching, scholarship and service.
  • Create a faculty assessment procedure that reflects the University's mission and core values.
  • Value generalist and specialist faculty members.
  • Establish a faculty mentoring program. 

Goal C: Affirm and support principles of shared governance.

  • Affirm faculty responsibility for the University's curriculum.
  • Foster faculty and administration collegiality and common goals.
  • Improve the functions and structure of university committees.
  • Implement the university strategic plan within each department.
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A safe campus of beauty and function will affirm the intrinsic value of the University's mission and provide the facilities to carry out that mission. The harmony between visual setting and intellectual mission will stimulate the ingenuity and diverse best talents of the entire university community. The community's continuity and uniqueness will be mirrored in the interrelation of lawns, pathways, sculptures and fountain of the campus setting. The campus will promote a culture of participation to guide and stimulate a varied yet cohesive purpose, inspiring our best efforts toward intellectual engagement.

The relation of visual setting and intellectual mission will foster an appreciation of the natural environment and a consciousness of the world around us. It will provide a contemporary, stimulating environment for all aspects of the learning process, especially teaching and research.

University Priority IV

A Purposeful Campus Community
A safe, aesthetically pleasing campus of beauty and function that promotes community, achievement, as well as intellectual and social engagement.

Goals and Strategies

Goal A: Cultivate a talented, inspired and diverse staff committed to the University's mission.

  • Recruit and retain an exceptional staff committed to the University's mission.
  • Encourage staff retention through an increased quality of campus life.
  • Provide opportunities for leadership training and enriched staff development.
  • Engage the staff in support of the student-centered mission of the University.
  • Foster a staff commitment to a campus community of honor.
  • Recognize the staff for outstanding leadership and service.
  • Encourage faculty and staff camaraderie and mutual support.

Goal B: Sustain a program of intercollegiate athletics that enhances the quality of campus life and supports the mission of the University.

  • Embrace the Knight Foundation Commission On Intercollegiate Athletics' "Statement of Principles."
  • Facilitate cooperation among faculty, staff and coaches to cultivate student-athletes' academic success.
  • Engage community-support groups in the enhancement of athletic programs and the academic success of student-athletes.

Goal C: Employ state-of-the-art technology in the service of the university.

  • Provide up-to-date technology in support of learning.
  • Ensure appropriate training and personnel support for the effective use of state-of-the-art technology across the campus.
  • Expand access to computer laboratory facilities.
  • Enhance the university information system so as to enable appropriate access to information.

Goal D: Reflect the University's character through creative and functional design.

  • Create a unified campus.
  • Integrate the design of technology, physical space and natural landscape.
  • Create functional gathering spaces that promote intellectual and social growth.
  • Locate core academic functions at the heart of the campus.
  • Provide aesthetically pleasing classrooms and office spaces.
  • Provide laboratories and tools appropriate for effective learning.
  • Continue to make safety and accessibility campus priorities, while balancing security and maximum access to facilities.

Goal E: Sustain a campus identified by outstanding architecture and natural beauty.

  • Establish a campus signature piece.
  • Add, maintain and preserve green spaces for diverse and public use.
  • Link the campus to neighboring areas of culture and nature.
  • Create a "walking" campus.
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Christopher Newport University will provide cultural and intellectual opportunities for the community. The University and its students, faculty and staff will be involved in outreach to the community, region and state by providing meaningful public service and civic participation consistent with the mission of the institution. The university community will provide economic, civic, scientific, educational and cultural partnerships characterized by intellectual honesty and professional and civic leadership developed in an academic culture that fosters independent learning, a broad understanding of the world, and personal responsibility.

The region, state and nation will benefit from the graduates of the University through an educated, intelligent and engaged citizenry committed to the values of liberal learning. Through its graduates, the University will provide outstanding, ethical leaders and service-oriented citizens. These graduates will understand the value of a democratic society. They will be dedicated to the well being of a diverse society, and successful professionals with the capacity to adapt to change.

University Priority V

An Engagement between the Campus and Larger Community
A dynamic university community whose members will transform and energize the cultural, intellectual, and economic life of the region.

Goals and Strategies

Goal A: Foster and promote the civic benefits of the public liberal arts and sciences university.

  • Provide programming in the Ferguson Center for the Arts to draw and engage the region.
  • Establish campus-wide events to attract students and members of the faculty, staff, alumni and community.
  • Establish an on-going, broad-based event that connects the campus and community.
  • Promote and encourage community interest in and access to the library.

Goal B: Build community-university collaborative relationships.

  • Build, promote and reward a culture of civic participation among students, faculty and staff.
  • Promote and coordinate student, faculty and staff community service.
  • Sustain a core of Hampton Roads students as an integral part of the campus population.

Goal C: Promote university-related opportunities for the region.

  • Welcome use of campus venues for community events as facilities expand.
  • Promote community and family benefits of NCAA athletic competition.
  • Create programs to attract elementary, middle and secondary school students to the campus.
  • Promote student capstone educational internships as a resource for the community.
  • Cultivate common interests between employers and the university.

Goal D: Promote the university as an economic, intellectual and social asset for the region.

  • Participate in and partner with the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.
  • Promote the benefits of the Applied Research Center.
  • Continue to lead in the renewal of the Warwick Boulevard corridor.
  • Cooperate with the city to maintain a safe surrounding neighborhood.
  • Expand the geographic reach and opportunities for alumni involvement with the university.
  • Nurture existing and create new university-related community support groups (e.g., Alumni Society Board of Directors, CNU Educational Foundation, Friends of Music, LifeLong Learning Society, School of Business Advisory Board , Theater Guild).
  • Link faculty-student research with potential for economic development to area businesses and corporations.
  • Foster the University's role in providing academic and technical support to the business community.
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