Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

University revises missions, goals

Trustees in late fall gave final blessing to a revised vision, values, mission and goals document that redefines the University in language that Provost Gregg Kvistad calls “brief, clear, elegant and distinctive.”

The trustees’ vote capped prior approval in the fall by other key University groups, including the Faculty Senate, Administrative Council and Staff Advisory Council.

The document reduces DU’s stated goals from 11 to three, rearranges language, adds terms and concisely charts the course for the University’s future, Kvistad says.

What it won’t do is sit on a shelf unused.

“This is a living document,” Kvistad says. “It should be used by units across campus as they do their strategic planning and budgeting and decide where they want to be in the next five years.”

The previous iteration of the vision, values, mission and goals was adopted in 2001, and much of the new language is already familiar. The vision, for example, is for DU to be “a great private university dedicated to the public good.”

The values component, however, has been modified to add “inclusiveness” to “excellence, innovation, engagement and integrity” — the University’s brand attributes.

The goals section has been reduced to three — community, learning and scholarship — and rearranged, listing community first as a way of emphasizing DU’s commitment to a “diverse, ethical, and intellectually vibrant campus community” that will “provide a challenging and liberating learning environment.”

The learning goal calls for “an outstanding educational experience that empowers students to integrate and apply knowledge from across the disciplines and imagine new possibilities for themselves, their communities and the world.”

The scholarship goal is a call “to invigorate research and scholarship across the University to address important scientific, sociopolitical, and cultural questions of the new century.”

The mission statement is longest, calling upon the University community “to promote learning by engaging with students in advancing scholarly inquiry, cultivating critical and creative thought, and generating knowledge. Our active partnerships with local and global communities contribute to a sustainable common good.”

“I’m pleased with the outcome,” Kvistad says, noting that the document was revised and approved relatively quickly. “There was substantial agreement on what we stood for and what we want to become.”

The vision, values, mission and goals document can be found here.

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