When I first began this assignment, I wanted to find the mission statements for schools which I have some connection to. It makes it more interesting because everything is more personal. However, I’ve only gone to Mississippi State University and Virginia Tech. Since we’re at Tech, I figured I would find another school. The first thing that I realized is that sometimes it’s surprisingly difficult to find the mission statement. Is it possible, in today’s world, to not have a mission statement? I don’t really know, but I do know that some of the schools made it incredibly difficult to find if they do have it.
I decided to go the Mississippi route and compare MSU (http://www.msstate.edu/web/mission.html) to their in-state rival – University of Mississippi, or Ole Miss (http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/chancellor/mission.html). Both universities are located in North Mississippi and are 4 year universities offering a variety of degrees at the bachelor’s, masters, and PhD levels. While Ole Miss has a stronger focus on humanities and liberal arts, Mississippi State is a land grant institution with a strong history in agriculture and engineering.
As a land grant, MSU focuses on three pillars of research, teaching, and service and expressly mentions diversity as an important part of its core. The mission statement of Ole Miss emphasizes critical thinking and questioning as a key for what students should gain in their time at Ole Miss. Both universities pay homage to their backgrounds of the sciences and liberal arts but portray a well-rounded university that offers a diverse array of opportunities.
Of course I’m biased, as the entirety of my 25 years of life has been heavily influenced by my family’s love for MSU and corresponding rivalry with Ole Miss. However, it seems as though MSU has a more clear focus on service in its mission statement. The development and research is stated multiple times as something that should be used for the advancement of the state. Ole Miss mentions helping Mississippi in a general way, but not with the specificity visible in MSU’s statement. Do you think this is a fair assessment, or is my bias getting in the way?