Mission, Vision & Values
Otterbein was founded by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ in 1847. We included women as faculty members and as students from our founding, and we were the first institution in the nation to do so. Otterbein admitted students of color before the Civil War and welcomed Japanese-American students who had been sent to internment camps during World War II. And, we gave students a voice in our story through our unique governance system beginning in the 1960s.
Today, students from diverse backgrounds enhance Otterbein’s campus by sharing their unique experiences and perspectives. These qualities made Otterbein what it is today: a nationally recognized university offering bachelor and master degrees to a wide variety of students.
Otterbein University will be nationally recognized as a model community of educators, leaders, and learners who set the pace for higher education and contribute to the common good.
Otterbein is an inclusive community dedicated to educating the whole person in the context of humane values. Our mission is to prepare graduates to think deeply and broadly, to engage locally and globally, and to advance their professions and communities. An Otterbein education is distinguished by the intentional blending of the liberal arts and professional studies, combined with a unique approach to integrating direct experience into all learning.
We are committed to creating a culture that recognizes, respects, embraces, and values differences in the broadest sense.
We are committed to sustaining an environment where all community members have the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
We are committed to being inclusive – an historic value which led to the creation of a distinctive culture as a welcoming community and a sense of shared responsibility for the future of the University.
- Lifelong Learning
We are committed to providing avenues for students, faculty, and staff to pursue opportunities to continue to develop their skills and knowledge either for the purposes of advancing their careers or for personal fulfillment.
We are committed to remaining a “College of Opportunity” for students, faculty, and staff with the potential to succeed at Otterbein.
We are committed to fostering a culture of social responsibility, civic engagement, and meaningful service to our communities.
We are committed to pursuing the ideal of sustainability in the decisions we make in planning the future of our community.
Our Guiding Principles
We hold ourselves and one another to high professional standards and accept responsibility for our actions.
We believe in working together for the betterment of our students and community.
We work hard to excel individually and collectively to establish Otterbein as a leader in higher education.
We look for creative and innovative approaches both in the way we routinely do our work and how we address challenges.
We pledge to be honest, just, and consistent in word and deed.
We embrace a high quality working and learning environment that seeks opportunities for continuous improvement.
We will work together to promote a culture of openness and transparency that ensures efficiency, effectiveness, and builds trust.
Our Brand Pillars
- the smartest way to learn,
- a place to belong,
- the opportunity to realize one’s personal best,
- and the values to serve the common good.
Living and learning as a contributing member of Otterbein’s model community will prepare you to lead a life of purpose.
Strategic Priorities & Goals
Provide a forward-thinking, quality education, which integrates an innovative general education program, disciplinary rigor, and professional preparation for all students that is inclusive, accessible, and affordable.
Enhance student development through innovative, broad-based academic and co-curricular opportunities that build campus connections and community.
Advance the public good through intentional educational programming and purposeful connections to community needs.
Build strategic partnerships to grow our reputation, build revenue, and maintain relevancy to benefit students.
Attract, retain, and support a professionally active faculty and staff who believe in our mission and values, put students first, and represent the diversity of our community.
Improve financial and operational strength by enhancing student enrollment and retention, identifying operational efficiencies, and growing a supportive donor base.