EOU guides student inquiry through integrated, high-quality liberal arts and professional programs that lead to responsible and reflective action in a diverse and interconnected world.

As an educational, cultural and scholarly center, EOU connects the rural regions of Oregon to a wider world. Our beautiful setting and small size enhance the personal attention our students receive, while partnerships with colleges, universities, agencies and communities add to the educational possibilities of our region and state.


Altruism: We give selflessly to empower one another and the University community through inclusiveness, appreciation, and stewardship.

Civility: We believe in the free and open exchange of ideas, embrace diverse backgrounds, and deliberately seek multiple perspectives.

Discovery: We honor our heritage and invest in our future with innovation, vision, and creativity.

Integrity: We uphold the foundation of professionalism, honesty, respect, and sincerity in all of our interactions.

Interdependence:We cultivate vibrant connections and relationships to enhance opportunity and success locally and globally.

Quality: We passionately pursue intellectual engagement, academic rigor, and the highest standards in all endeavors.


Goal 1: Student Success – Graduate students with the competence and confidence to succeed
Objective 1: All graduates engage in high-impact, experiential learning activities
Objective 2: Graduates engage in post-graduate planning and preparation

Goal 2: Transformational Education – Enrich academic quality and enhance intellectual vitality
Objective 1: Excellence in teaching and scholarship
Objective 2: Graduates possess the essential learning outcomes employers seek

Goal 3: Grow the Number of Lives Impacted – Expand student access, opportunity, and completion
Objective 1: Serve as a growing and thriving rural university
Objective 2: Students are retained
Objective 3: Efficient degree attainment

Goal 4: Thriving University Community – A great place to work and learn
Objective 1: Foster an inviting and supportive university culture that exemplifies EOU’s values and principles
Objective 2: Support intercultural competency, inclusiveness, and diversity
Objective 3: Provide and maintain a campus that promotes quality of life for students, faculty, staff, and the community

Goal 5: Relevance and Interconnection – Serve as the educational, economic, and cultural engine for rural places
Objective 1: Educational partnerships are cultivated
Objective 2: Be recognized as a leader in promoting rural community prosperity and resilience

Goal 6: Financial Sustainability – Stewardship in financial sustainability and in growing EOU’s financial and capital resources
Objective 1: Develop and foster a culture of fiscal responsibility, accountability, and security for all university funds
Objective 2: Foster a culture of philanthropy that significantly increases engagement with and giving to the university
Objective 3: Expand revenue from alternative sources such as grants, sponsorships, partnerships, and alternative uses of campus property


Eastern Oregon University serves our students, our nation, and our world, by being a place where the higher levels of learning are practiced and lived on a daily basis. Education is a process of changing oneself, an enterprise fraught with conflict between old values and new, old ideas and new. Students come to a university to be challenged, and to be come, through that process, larger, more capable and wiser. EOU is committed to being a place where skills of learning, of inquiry, of examination, of debate and reasoning, are modeled, practiced and learned – skills that our graduates will incorporate into their sense of themselves, and will build on and develop throughout the rest of their lives.

1. The right to freedom of expression. When our nation’s founders decided to make explicit the rights necessary for the functioning of their republic, they placed freedom from governmentally imposed religion, freedom of personal religious practice, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble, and the right to demand government action to protect these freedoms in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

2. Civility and freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is fundamental to learning and the development of new ideas in an institution of higher education. It is not the role of the university to protect individuals or groups from offensive speech, but to protect the rights of individuals and groups to express themselves and to contest the expression of others. The necessity of considering radical and unpopular ideas, and of doing so within a framework of civility, is at the heart of the decisions by which the federal courts have enforced the First Amendment. Governments may set reasonable limits on the time, place, and manner of political speech, but generally cannot regulate its content. Within that framework, it is not acceptable to object to an idea because it offends one personally. Ideas must stand or fall by their inherent merit, tested in public debate. The rules of debate and discussion allow any idea to be weighed in the balance of reasoned intellectual inquiry.*

3. Equity and inclusion and freedom of expression. EOU recognizes that some speech risks the climate of inclusivity necessary for equitable educational opportunity. In most circumstances, an inclusive environment is best supported by more rather than less dialogue so that ideas can be aired and addressed. In such dialogue, the university may exercise its own right to contest expression that opposes the institution’s commitment to equity and inclusion.

*Exceptions to the university’s commitment may occur when expression violates the law, for example, in the case of true threats, incitements to violence, defamation, harassment, or confidentiality requirements. Conduct that goes beyond simple expression so as to violate criminal laws or the student conduct code is not protected expression. Additionally, the university may limit the time, place, and manner of expression to protect ordinary operations of the institution and safety of the campus community (see the Public Demonstrations Policy).

This statement was developed through collaboration with EOU’s Faculty Senate, University Council, and Associated Students of Eastern Oregon University (ASEOU).