On a mission

UND reexamining Mission Statement with eye toward changes that express new Strategic Plan’s strength and promise for the future

UND's President Mark Kennedy and his Executive Council gathered a group of campus leaders to revise the University's mission statement, which was written in 1991. The new mission statement will be shorter, sharper and more aligned with the strategic priorities of the institution.

UND’s President Mark Kennedy and his Executive Council gathered a group of campus leaders to revise the University’s mission statement, which was written in 1991. The new mission statement will be shorter, sharper and more aligned with the strategic priorities of the institution.

The University of North Dakota has a new, innovative Strategic Plan focused on learning, discovery and engagement to guide the institution and its community through the next five years.

Now, the University will revise its mission statement to reflect the strength and promise of that plan.

In late October, UND President Mark Kennedy and his Executive Council called together a small group of campus leaders to revisit UND’s current mission statement, which was written in 1991. The team has collaboratively drafted a revised statement that will be presented to the University Senate, Staff Senate and Student Senate on Jan. 10-11 for final discussion.

The Mission Revision group – comprising Student Body President Cole Bachmeier, Director of Multicultural Programs and Services Stacey Borboa-Peterson, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of History James Mochoruk, and University Senate Chair Nancy Vogeltanz-Holm – recognized that the statement should reflect what makes UND unique in the state of North Dakota.

“We wanted to align the new mission statement with themes generated from the comprehensive Strategic Planning process,” Vogeltanz-Holm said. “We all agreed that the Strategic Planning Purpose statement of UND as the ‘Chief Opportunity Engine for North Dakota and Our Students’ was an important concept to capture in the revision.”

The team knew it was necessary to keep the mission statement short and to-the-point – trimming down the current 219-word sentiment – while still retaining UND’s essential missions of education, discovery and community service.

Each member crafted a mission statement and, after several sessions, found comprehensive common ground to complete two final statements. Those were reviewed in mid-November by President Kennedy and his Executive Council, who provided feedback to the Mission Revision group. On Dec. 6, after a few changes, the President asked that the latest draft be sent to other campus groups for review.

Stacey Borboa-Peterson

Stacey Borboa-Peterson, Director of Multicultural Programs and Services

Sum of many voices

Once the mission statement is presented at the Jan. 10-11 meetings, the three senates will have an opportunity for discussion and input, with a finalized version unveiled later in January.

“Our revised mission statement is brief, forward-thinking and student-focused,” Vogeltanz-Holm said. “Our most important task now is to share the revision across campus and ensure that our students, staff and faculty support the change.”

Bachmeier says he appreciates that he was contacted to help in the revision. “I believe this shows UND’s commitment to student engagement and involvement,” he said. “I’m happy to have received feedback via the Student Senate for what students would like to see in the mission statement … and I can’t wait to present the hard work of the committee.”

Borboa-Peterson brings a unique perspective to the revision group, having studied UND’s mission statement for her recently completed doctoral dissertation. Her historical research and special attention to strategic planning processes of the past revealed how crucial it is to couple mission and strategy.

“It’s exciting to see a mission statement align with the strategic priorities of the institution, and come together as one plan,” she said. “It’s my hope that the mission statement encompasses all that we do at the University of North Dakota, and that everyone is able to see themselves in it.”

Follow UND Today to get a full look at the revised UND Mission Statement when it is publicly revealed in January 2018.