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New mission statement adopted

by Richard Veilleux - April 24, 2006

Karla Fox, chair of the University’s reaccreditation effort, has seen a lot of mission statements in her time, serving on many University committees, and helping prepare the School of Business for several of its reaccreditation visits.

But she doesn’t think she has ever seen one as long as UConn’s.

That has now changed. On April 11, the Board of Trustees approved a new statement of mission for the University that is only five sentences – 126 words – long.

The change serves several purposes, Fox says, one of which is preparing an accurate, concise statement for the reaccreditation team scheduled to visit UConn next year.

A clear mission statement, she says, is one of 11 standards the team will review, and they want to see something that “aligns what the institution does with what it seeks to do.”

Currently, Fox says, there are   three mission statements floating around campus, and the most frequently cited is several pages long.

“When faculty or students from out of state are considering UConn, they’ll go to our web page and look at the mission statement to see who we are and what we do,” she says.

“But they won’t want to wade through multiple pages.”

Fox says she received hundreds of e-mails regarding the statement, which was originally drafted by a committee that included Richard Brown (history), Susan Spiggle (marketing), Kathleen Sanner (Student Health Services), and Ron Schurin (president’s office). Comments were received from the Undergraduate Student Government, the Graduate Student Senate, the deans and provost’s staff, the Senate Executive Committee, alumni, and the UConn Foundation.

Their work led to the mission statement that was adopted by the Trustees. It says:

The University of Connecticut is dedicated to excellence demonstrated through national and international recognition. As Connecticut’s public research university, through freedom of academic inquiry and expression, we create and disseminate knowledge by means of scholarly and creative achievements, graduate and professional education, and outreach. Through our focus on teaching and learning, the University helps every student grow intellectually and become a contributing member of the state, national, and world communities. Through research, teaching, service, and outreach, we embrace diversity and cultivate leadership, integrity, and engaged citizenship in our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. As our state’s flagship public land and sea grant institution, we promote the health and well-being of Connecticut’s citizens through enhancing the social, economic, cultural, and natural environments of the state and beyond.

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