The mission statements I chose to compare were those of Virginia Tech and Radford University. I wanted to compare these universities because one is obviously a large research oriented university, and I assume that Radford is more focused on teaching.
This is reflected in the mission statements of these universities. In Virginia Tech’s mission statement it says central to its mission is the “discovery and dissemination of new knowledge.” Although the mission statements states a focus on teaching and learning, this focus is only mentioned a couple of times. Most of the focus is on research and the application of knowledge to society.
Radford University’s mission statement on the other hand is very teaching and education focused. It emphasized teaching and learning, development of students, and that the university is student-focused. The only mention of research is to underscore that at RU it is only used as a teaching and learning tool.
I interpret these mission statements to be polar opposites of one another. VT shows a dedication to research and the benefits of producing knowledge, with just a phrase or two about education. Whereas RU dedicates its entire mission statement to education and student development and stresses that research is only used as a teaching tool at RU.
I think these two styles both have their benefits, but also their draw backs. I’m sure RU is more student focused as the say, and professors there most likely have more time to dedicate to teaching undergrad courses. However research is important to societal improvements and can be used in undergraduate education through undergraduate research opportunities in great research labs. Although VT does have great research opportunities, I’m sure most faculty here cannot devote the time they would like to better teach undergraduate classes due to their research commitments.