Universities’ Mission Statements

For this assignment, my objective was to compare the mission statements of institutions of higher education to establish differences and similarities. I chose two universities located in the United States, the University of Minnesota, a state grant-land university, located in the state of Minnesota, and Syracuse University, a private university in Upstate New York.

As I expected, both universities have an emphasis in research and discovery. I found some of the same patterns explained in the Cortes-Sanchez’s article “What do universities want to be? A content analysis of mission and vision statements worldwide.” Syracuse University focuses on the student’s teaching process and success; this private university highlights their strategy to achieve this success, including global thinking, experiential learning, interdisciplinary scholarship, creativity, and entrepreneurial endeavor.

The University of Minnesota uses the term “community” three times in their mission statement and considers service and extension. One of the university’s mission is outreach and public service by making knowledge and resources accessible to the citizens and by working with them in the field to solve local problems.

Three aspects of this assessment caught my attention. First, both universities include in their mission an interest to build a diverse and creative community. Second, only the University of Minnesota aims to prepare their students for active roles in a multiracial and multicultural world. Finally, Syracuse University has a strong pride in its “location and history as a place of access, engagement, innovation, and impact.” Overall, the land-grant and private universities explored showed dissimilarities in their policies and philosophy, which may be transferred to their alumni.

Sources:

https://www.syracuse.edu/about/vision-mission/

http://regents.umn.edu/sites/regents.umn.edu/files/policies/Mission_Statement.pdf

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2017/12/20/what-do-universities-want-to-be-a-content-analysis-of-mission-and-vision-statements-worldwide/

4 Comments

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4 Responses to Universities’ Mission Statements

  1. jyotirmoy

    Hi,
    Since you pointed out how one university is more community focused while the other prides on its achievement, do you think it is necessary, rather, mandatory for a university to be service oriented?

    • Khanh To

      I personally think universities should be there to help you be a more well-rounded person and service to the communities is one of those aspect, but I don’t know if it is wise for a university to have to be service oriented. Given that University of Minnesota is a land-grant university, I’m not surprised that the university is more community focused than the private one.

  2. anakok

    This is another post that shows how humble the public schools and how private schools put their prides in the first place. However, both parties should serve the community and aim for serving to diverse society.

  3. natalihuggins

    Hi, after reading the missions I found that both are extensive but very meaningful, so far these two mission are the ones that best resonate with me, for example the mission from the University of Minnesota besides well know academia and research activities mentioned outreach and public services as one of their main activities, I found this very powerful specially in this time where the impact of the universities, specially in their research activities it is difficult to determinate.
    From the Syracuse’s mission an aspect that caught my attention and you mentioned it is their pride related to their location and history, I think this is a unique aspect that not all the universities consider.

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