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.

More About Otterbein

Our Vision

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.

Mission Statement

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.

Core Values

  • Diversity

    We are committed to creating a culture that recognizes, respects, embraces, and values differences in the broadest sense.

  • Equality

    We are committed to sustaining an environment where all community members have the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

  • Inclusiveness

    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.

  • Opportunity

    We are committed to remaining a “College of Opportunity” for students, faculty, and staff with the potential to succeed at Otterbein.

  • Service

    We are committed to fostering a culture of social responsibility, civic engagement, and meaningful service to our communities.

  • Sustainability

    We are committed to pursuing the ideal of sustainability in the decisions we make in planning the future or our community.

Our Guiding Principles

  • Accountability

    We hold ourselves and one another to high professional standards and accept responsibility for our actions.

  • Collaboration

    We believe in working together for the betterment of our students and community.

  • Excellence

    We work hard to excel individually and collectively to establish Otterbein as a leader in higher education.

  • Innovation

    We look for creative and innovative approaches both in the way we routinely do our work and how we address challenges.

  • Integrity

    We pledge to be honest, just, and consistent in word and deed.

  • Quality

    We embrace a high quality working and learning environment that seeks opportunities for continuous improvement.

  • Transparency

    We will work together to promote a culture of openness and transparency that ensures efficiency, effectiveness, and builds trust.

Our Brand Pillars

Otterbein offers…

  • 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

Enhance Student Success

  • Improve Access and Affordability.
  • Develop a Student Life Experience Plan.
  • Expand Experiential Learning Opportunities.
  • Create a Culture of Community Engagement.

Strengthen Academic Excellence

  • Implement a Cycle of Academic Program Review.
  • Identify, Develop, and Promote Programs of Distinction.
  • Build Institutional Research and Data Analytics Team.
  • Improve Advising Services.

Build a Model Community

  • Attract and Retain a Diverse Student Population and Workforce.
  • Provide Professional Development and Lifelong Learning Opportunities.
  • Celebrate Successes and Recognize Achievements.
  • Strengthen Community Engagement and Partnerships.
  • Become an Environmentally Sustainable Campus Community.
  • Develop a user-Centered and State-of-the-Art Information Technology Infrastructure.

Improve Financial Strength

  • Develop a Sustainable Business Model.
  • Create a Culture of Philanthropy.
  • Expand the Donor Base of Support.
  • Improve Core Business Systems and Processes.
  • Allocate Resources in Accordance with Strategic Priorities.