I chose UK because it is located in my hometown and BYU because that was where I went for by bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Impressed at how long the BYU one was. It was fun to read though and to compare it to my experience there.
University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky is a public, land grant university dedicated to improving people’s lives through excellence in education, research and creative work, service and health care. As Kentucky’s flagship institution, the University plays a critical leadership role by promoting diversity, inclusion, economic development and human well-being.
The University of Kentucky:
- Facilitates learning, informed by scholarship and research;
- Expands knowledge through research, scholarship and creative activity; and
- Serves a global community by disseminating, sharing and applying knowledge.
The University contributes to the economic development and quality of life within Kentucky’s borders and beyond, nurturing a diverse community characterized by fairness and equal opportunity.
This mission statement is similar to those of other land grant universities with a focus on learning, research, and service. I did find it interesting that it specifically calls out economic development and healthcare. UK has a med school so the healthcare thing makes sense. The economic development comment is also interesting because that’s probably a big deal for a state with a fairly high number of people in poverty and some critical poverty areas like eastern Kentucky in the Appalachians. I’m glad that UK can be a large institution with an international reach but still focus on solving issues specific to Kentucky.
Brigham Young University:
The mission of Brigham Young University — founded, supported, and guided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — is to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life. That assistance should provide a period of intensive learning in a stimulating setting where a commitment to excellence is expected and the full realization of human potential is pursued.
All instruction, programs, and services at BYU, including a wide variety of extracurricular experiences, should make their own contribution toward the balanced development of the total person. Such a broadly prepared individual will not only be capable of meeting personal challenge and change but will also bring strength to others in the tasks of home and family life, social relationships, civic duty, and service to mankind.
To succeed in this mission the university must provide an environment enlightened by living prophets and sustained by those moral virtues which characterize the life and teachings of the Son of God. In that environment these four major educational goals should prevail:
- All students at BYU should be taught the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Any education is inadequate which does not emphasize that His is the only name given under heaven whereby mankind can be saved. Certainly all relationships within the BYU community should reflect devout love of God and a loving, genuine concern for the welfare of our neighbor.
- Because the gospel encourages the pursuit of all truth, students at BYU should receive a broad university education. The arts, letters, and sciences provide the core of such an education, which will help students think clearly, communicate effectively, understand important ideas in their own cultural tradition as well as that of others, and establish clear standards of intellectual integrity.
- In addition to a strong general education, students should also receive instruction in the special fields of their choice. The university cannot provide programs in all possible areas of professional or vocational work, but in those it does provide the preparation must be excellent. Students who graduate from BYU should be capable of competing with the best in their fields.
- Scholarly research and creative endeavor among both faculty and students, including those in selected graduate programs of real consequence, are essential and will be encouraged.
In meeting these objectives BYU’s faculty, staff, students, and administrators should also be anxious to make their service and scholarship available to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in furthering its work worldwide. In an era of limited enrollments, BYU can continue to expand its influence both by encouraging programs that are central to the Church’s purposes and by making its resources available to the Church when called upon to do so.
We believe the earnest pursuit of this institutional mission can have a strong effect on the course of higher education and will greatly enlarge Brigham Young University’s influence in a world we wish to improve.
I really like the mission statement because it focuses on building character instead of just learning. I think it’s important that we send people out of universities as better people, not just more knowledgeable people. That’s what will make this a better world. As a religious institution, gospel learning and a testimony of Jesus Christ are also an integral part of the mission statement, but I also like that instilling a love for mankind and concern for the general welfare of mankind is included. BYU’s informal motto (although formal enough to be on the sign as you enter) is “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve” and I think that encapsulates the mission statement pretty well. Hopefully, no matter where we go to school, or even if we are learning outside of a formal setting, we use what we learn to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us and the world at large.