Mission statements{1}

Virginia Tech and University of Virginia mission statements, similarities and differences;

In this post I’m going to compare the mission statement of the two universities; Virginia Tech and University of Virginia and the reason I was interested to compare the mission statements of theses two universities was because of first of all they were both located in Virginia state. Secondly, VT is more technical and UVA focuses more on the all around education (i.e. more of a liberal arts education along with engineering), From an engineering program perspective, VT has a much better school. It’s listed as #24 in overall engineering versus #38 for UVA and I wanted to see how this is reflected in the mission statement of theses two universities. Secondly, VT has approximately 31000 students in total and 24000 grad students and UVA has approximately 23000 students and 16000 grad students. So, in a sense VT is a bigger community and the share of grad students is bigger in VT compare to UVA (77% vs 69% share of grad students) and in particular, I wanted to see whether this is reflected in the mission statement of theses two universities or not. And my third reason to compare theses two universities was that these two universities kind of have compete with each other in many things such as football, rank of engineering majors, fitness, food, beauty of campus, safety of community.


Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va.
Public, land-grant universityhttp://www.president.vt.edu/mission_vision/mission.html
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA.
Public, land-grant universityhttp://www.virginia.edu/statementofpurpose/purpose.html

The Virginia Tech mission statement is as follows:

“Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) is a public land-grant university serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. The discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission. Through its focus on teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, the university creates, conveys, and applies knowledge to expand personal growth and opportunity, advance social and community development, foster economic competitiveness, and improve the quality of life.”

The university of Virginia mission statement is as follows:

“The University of Virginia is a public institution of higher learning guided by a founding vision of discovery, innovation, and development of the full potential of talented students from all walks of life. It serves the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world by developing responsible citizen leaders and professionals; advancing, preserving, and disseminating knowledge; and providing world-class patient care. “


At the very first glance, Virginia Tech mission statement mainly focuses on “learning”, “Teaching” and “research”. While, the UVA mission statement mainly focuses on “develop full potential of talented students”, “developing responsible citizen leaders and professionals” and “higher learning”, which actually reflects well what we discussed earlier that VT is better than UVA at technical and engineering majors and UVA is better around the education and art majors.

The other important point is that for VT the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission while for UVA the highest priority is to be the center of higher education. Meanwhile, VT also expresses that it tries to achieve the goals through its focus on teaching and learning, research and discovery. So in a way, they are similar to each other from the point that they both have high emphasis on education and learning.

The second bold word that catches my eyes in both mission statements is that VT and UVA serve the state and nation of Virginia each in different way. VT tries to apply the knowledge for higher opportunities and social community to improve the quality of life.  On the other hand, UVA states that they develop responsible citizen leaders and professionals to disseminating knowledge. So, both of them try to express their contribution on how they will improve the nation but UVA mainly focuses on the educating the people and developing professional people.

The other difference is that, UVA mission statement is very general and mostly centered around humanity. While, VT mission statement is very specific and it is elaborated in detail, for example, VT specifically talks about economy growth, social community, improving the life. I think this also is a witness for our earlier discussion that VT has more grad students (emphasis on research at high level) and the UVA has less grad student. However, VT and UVA both talk about the discovery and dissemination of knowledge to the community.