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University Vision


A destination university internationally recognized as an inquiry-driven, ethically engaged, and diverse community, whose members work collaboratively for positive transformation in the world through courageous leadership in teaching, research, scholarship, health care, and social action

Theme Development

The purpose of the University themes development process was to engage the entire University in discussions that would produce intellectual ideas leading to specific programmatic innovations that would propel Emory to the next level and beyond. It was a key component of the overall University Strategic Planning Process. Faculty, staff, students, administration, alumni,  and the Board of Trustees were all involved in the process.

It began with collective input from administration, faculty, staff, students, and alumni to arrive at the following signature theme ideas:

    •    Citizen as Scholar and Scholar as Citizen

    •    Critical Inquiry and Creative Expression

    •    Global Health

    •    Internationalization

    •    Mind, Brain, and Neuroscience

    •    Policy Solutions and Implementation

    •    Predictive Health and Society

    •    Race, Racism, and Society

    •    Religion, Society, and the Human Experience

    •    Societies in Conflict and Transition

Groups were organized around each idea to further develop it for presentation to the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and potentially, the Emory University Board of Trustees.

Futurist Forum

Emory University conducted a Futurist Forum sponsored by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee in April 2005. This event was a step in the strategic planning process to more fully develop the distinctive opportunities Emory possesses in education, research, and service by seeking external opinions of our thematic aspirations.

The program consisted of presentations by national thought leaders about future trends in the study of the arts, humanities and sciences, including social, physical and biological sciences and focus break-out discussion about selected topics. 

The result was confirmation that the themes that Emory was contemplating would be transformative for Emory and academia.


As a result of the process the following themes and initiatives emerged.

The first three themes aim at strengthening our most vital resources – faculty, students, staff and alumni.

    •    Strengthening Faculty Distinction

    •    Preparing Engaged Scholars

    •    Creating Community, Engaging Society

Themes four and five represent areas of scholarship designed to leverage Emory's unique academic strengths that cut across the humanities, the social and natural sciences, the health sciences and professional schools. Each of the two content areas is subdivided into three initiatives.

    •    Confronting the Human Condition and Human Experience

                ·    Understanding Religions and the Human Spirit

                ·    Implementing Pathways to Global Health

                ·    Understanding Race and Difference

    •    Exploring New Frontiers in Science and Technology

                ·    Neuroscience, Human Nature and Society

                ·    Predictive Health and Society

                ·    Computational and Life Sciences