Pacific mission statement reflects new goals

posted in: Opinion | 0

Just two more weeks. I know that is the mantra echoing in many of your minds. Indeed, I wish you well in these next two weeks of academic rigor and in the adventures that will follow this summer.

But I also invite you to look even further ahead with me, for just a moment. Next week, I will present to our Board of Trustees a revised origins, mission and vision statement for Pacific University. The origin statement harkens to our past. It remembers and honors our roots as an orphanage and school that helped us become a “close mentoring environment that leads to genuine transformation in students’ lives.”

Our mission statement is now a single sentence.  While it is still up for final input, it will clearly emphasize our commitment to a “sustainable, diverse community dedicated to discovery and excellence in teaching, scholarship and practice that mentors students who think, create, care and pursue justice in our world.”

Our vision calls for us to “embrace discovery” as an essential characteristic of a learning environment and it reminds us that we will achieve excellence “by investing in exceptional people.” It challenges us to ”embrace a rich diversity of ideas, peoples and cultures” and to incorporate the concept of sustainability in everything we do.

These statements are critical pieces of our road map. And although they are part of a new mission and vision statement, we are making these changes because we believe they better describe what you, today’s students, have experienced at Pacific.  Like the graduating senior envisioning his or her future, they help us aspire to what we want to become as an institution and they help us prioritize our next investments.

Already these statements are guiding us as we move forward in ways that will immediately expand opportunities for our students.

Starting next fall, Pacific will offer several new academic programs: new undergraduate majors in applied theatre, art history, dance and public health; minors in editing and publishing, indigenous studies and outdoor leadership; a three-year Business Scholars program; a master in speech-language pathology; and a doctorate in audiology. Meanwhile, Pacific continues to pursue its vision by supporting academic study and student services in key areas of our mission. They include the recently-founded Center for a Sustainable Society and Center for Peace and Spirituality.

And, we are, indeed, investing in exceptional people. We welcome a new founding dean of the future College of Business, Howard Smith, as well as our new vice president of university advancement, Cassie McVeety, and our new dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Lisa Carstens, to name just three of the most visible new additions.

But most importantly, we take pride in our investment in you, our students.

As the revised vision statement concludes: “Students, faculty and staff alike are drawn to Pacific by its welcoming environment, its emphasis on public service, and its development of graduates who contribute as gifted leaders of the global community.”


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