Defining Mission and Vision
Mission and vision may be defined as the following:
- Mission clarifies an organization’s purpose or why it should be doing what it does
- Vision clarifies what the organization should look like and how it should behave in fulfilling its mission
Each collegiate unit within the University has its own mission and vision separate from, but complementary to, the University’s mission and vision. While they all work together, each mission and vision is tailored to the unique characteristics of the individual colleges.
A mission statement declares the purpose and direction of the University and collegiate units. Mission statements can vary in length, but they should be targeted and inspiring – and lead to measures that will indicate whether or not the mission is being achieved. In many instances, accreditation and licensure agencies require topical areas to be addressed by colleges in their mission statements.
A vision statement provides organization with information about how to fulfill the mission. The vision provides the University community with a sense of purpose, values and common ground that enables the University and collegiate units to strive together for a collective good.
An effective University and collegiate vision statement describes what the organization should look like once it has successfully implemented its strategies and achieved its potential. A vision may include the University’s:
- Mission statement
- Values and philosophy
- Basic strategies
- Performance criteria
- Ethical standards expected by faculty and staff members
A vision is widely circulated and discussed within the organization for faculty and staff to know what is expected of them. The development of a vision may occur at different points in the creation of a strategic plan:
- Early in the Strategic Planning Process – to help the organization identify what the strategic issues are or how to help develop strategies, and
- Throughout the Strategic Planning Process – to allow for several cycles of planning efforts to generate discussion and feedback from organization members in order to know what they want, what they can have, and what the differences are between the two.