DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Strategic Directions > DePaul makes progress on strategic goals

DePaul makes progress on strategic goals

Grounded in Mission
​​​The pandemic was no match for DePaul's strategic plan, which steamed ahead in 2019-20 despite a spring detour.

Mission Mondays, record diversity of our student body, being named a First-gen Forward Institution, launching the Grace School for Applied Diplomacy, a 70% increase in faculty securing grants and DePaul's second largest fundraising year in history; these successes combined for a significant year of strategic accomplishment.

Highlights from the year are now available in the Grounded in Mission strategic plan annual report, which is available on the President's website and summarized below. Campus Connect credentials are required to access the annual report.

“The DePaul community pulled together in virtual and Vincentian ways to support our students and each other, while continuing to make progress on our strategic goals," says President A. Gabriel Esteban. “Thank you for your outstanding efforts this year and for always keeping DePaul grounded in mission."


DePaul's Catholic, Vincentian and urban mission is the root of the university's strategy. The Seeds of the Mission campaign launched last year to review and revise the mission statement. As part of that effort, the Division of Mission and Ministry collected stories that articulate who we have been, who we are, and who we are called to be in the 21st century.

The Institute of Global Homelessness achieved a major goal when its work helped lead to the U.N. Commission on Social Development issuance of its first worldwide resolution on homelessness in three decades.

Closer to home, COVID-19 required DePaul to step up its service to students who found themselves in unanticipated need. As a result, the Student Emergency Assistance Fund ramped up distribution of aid to more than 500 students who experienced hardship.


DePaul's diverse student body hit record numbers in 2019-20. To create a smooth transition into the university, we hosted the inaugural Blue Demon Welcome, a ceremony introducing all new students to Vincentian principles and DePaul.

The Faculty Recruitment Incentive Program encouraged two talented junior faculty members of color to choose DePaul. A new Presidential Fellows program engaged faculty to conduct research and propose initiatives to address societal issues of strategic import to DePaul.

Supplementing these strategies was an unequivocal statement from DePaul's leadership pledging to become more proactive in examining our own systems and ridding them of any vestiges of systemic racism.

Student Success

DePaul was honored this year as a First-gen Forward Institution by the Center for First-generation Student Success. This accomplishment is reflective of the 34% of first generation students in the freshman class and the new Generation Success program created to foster a strong start to their college careers.

The Career Center expanded its engagement with faculty, academic advisors and alumni because students receive career advice from many sources. This enabled students to receive strong, evidence-based and consistent career education from people they often consult.

The College of Law improved its Illinois bar passage rate by 7.5 percentage points, enabling more recent law graduates to successfully launch their careers in legal practice.


The university continued to open new pathways into higher education. In 2019-20, more than 20% of students enrolled in an academic program that was established in the past 10 years.

Meanwhile, DePaul became the only university in the world to use a transprofessional model to teach diplomacy skills through the new Grace School of Applied Diplomacy​.

DePaul also launched its first tri-modal classrooms, enabling students to access courses three ways: face-to-face, synchronous via Zoom, or asynchronous at a more convenient time.


External grants won by faculty increased by about 70% last year. DePaul also held the inaugural Innovation Day to highlight faculty scholarship and creativity across campus.

The year saw a number of impressive rankings for a variety of programs. These included recognition for the part-time MBA, entrepreneurship, forced migration and displacement, game design, graphic design and animation programs.

Fiscal Strength

The endowment value grew to $737 million by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2020, a $40 million increase from a year ago. In addition to market gains, a record-breaking year for major gifts contributed to the endowment growth. In all, DePaul raised $60.6 million in philanthropy, the university's second-highest annual total ever.  ​​