Vision & Values

Roger Williams University prepares our students to be successful leaders and innovators in today’s rapidly changing world. Our distinctive focus on original research, engaged learning, and hands-on apprenticeships, practicums and clinical learning opportunities provides our students with real-world experiences, on and off campus, that empower them to be career- and job-ready, to succeed immediately and continue to advance throughout their careers. As we embed our core values and mission into every facet of RWU, we will continue to discover opportunities for interdisciplinary connections and innovative ideas that synthesize into collective action that will launch our considerable strengths in exciting, new directions. We are poised to make RWU an even more distinctive, resilient and enduring institution.

Our core values, originally established during the Vision Project in 2014, were reaffirmed in 2019 through Vision Working Groups, the creation of our first Equity Action Plan and the ongoing academic master planning underway now. As we chart the course for our future, we draw inspiration from our namesake, the radical and visionary 17th-century leader, Roger Williams, who founded Providence and Rhode Island on his beliefs in freedom of conscience, equality and tolerance. His legacy inspires, informs and guides the ideals to which RWU dedicates our mission and purpose.

Our Strategic Action Plan strategically embeds our core purpose – to strengthen society through engaged teaching, learning and research – into the fabric of our institutional mission and infrastructure.

Connecting To Our Core Values

During our strategic planning process, our Vision Working Groups reaffirmed and clarified the university's six core values. These core values will help us to achieve our institutional mission – To build the university the world needs now.

University Core Values:

  • We will meet the educational needs of a diverse multigenerational community of learners. 
  • We will work with local and global communities to address problems that matter most to society.
  • We will provide transformative educational experiences to all students to fulfill their potential as lifelong learners, professionals and citizens.
  • We will create a community in which diversity is visible in its population and culture and by implementing explicit institution-wide practices that advance equity and belonging.
  • We will commit to on-going collaborations of education, inquiry, and implementation of sustainable practices which enhance human and environmental well-being on our campuses and within our communities.
  • We will be financially accessible to all who aspire to a Roger Williams University education.

Guided by our core values and mission, distinct priorities emerged that will serve as strategic direction for our course of action for creating the highest level of excellence for Roger Williams University. In this next phase, we are harnessing our collective energy around these areas:

Academic Excellence

Engaged Learning

Student Success

A Thriving Community

Sustainable Futures

Our university core values weave throughout these strategic areas, creating the foundation and inspiration on which they were built. Deepening our commitment to academic excellence and engaged learning will enable RWU to provide a transformative, experiential and engaged education that is centered around research experience, hands-on learning and community-engaged opportunities for all our students and throughout their years with us. In continuing to build our focus on student success and employee experience, we will ensure that all of our students, alumni and employees feel a sense of belonging and grow as a thriving, inclusive and equitable community. And it is with a spirit of innovation and abiding respect for our communities and our land, that we strive to develop sustainable futures through the responsible stewardship of our people and resources, and in so doing, cultivate an enduring institution and sustainable legacy for Roger Williams University.

As we design our initiatives and direct our purpose toward these institutional priorities, this will be a time to imagine our dreams and hopes for the future of Roger Williams – and to move our dreams into action.