August 26, 2014

Board of Regents Approves VSU’s New Mission Statement

VALDOSTA—The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved Valdosta State University’s new mission statement during its Aug. 20 monthly board meeting.
The new mission statement, proposed by VSU President William J. McKinney, was developed as part of the university’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan and more effectively aligns with the university's reclassification from a regional to a comprehensive institution.
“I am especially proud that this new mission statement grew from the collaborative efforts of our faculty, staff, and students,” McKinney said. “It is not only a response to the Board's expansion of our mission, but also a testament to VSU's shared commitment to serving South Georgia and beyond. With its interlocking emphases on students, the campus, and the region, this new mission statement highlights VSU's commitment to all of our constituents.”
The mission statement serves as a critical component and foundational guide for VSU's strategic plan, which includes five goals representing the fundamental principles for comprehensive universities.
“Last year, the Board of Regents reclassified VSU from a regional institution to a comprehensive institution, and as such, it was necessary to revise the university’s mission statement to better reflect the core characteristics of a comprehensive institution,” said Dr. Michael Black, director of institutional effectiveness. “Although VSU’s outreach extends throughout Georgia, the United States, and internationally, the committee recognized VSU’s role in serving our region, and for that reason, we identified a regional component in the revised mission statement.”
Black, who also serves as the university’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accreditation liaison, said the new mission statement was developed based on input from VSU faculty and staff, as well as guidelines from the SACSCOC, the USG Core Mission Statement for Comprehensive Institutions, and research into the mission statements of comparator peer and aspirational peer institutions.
According to Black, VSU’s prior mission statement was originally approved in 1999 with subsequent revisions made in 2007.
“It is a best practice for higher education institutions to revisit mission statements every five years,” said Black. “The Strategic Planning Committee’s re-evaluation occurred in conjunction with research for and development of a new strategic plan. The revised mission statement more accurately reflects Valdosta State University’s contributions within the University System of Georgia, to the state of Georgia, and internationally.”
Members of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, who also contributed to the development of the mission statement, are Russ Mast, Michael Black, Stanley Jones, Aubrey Fowler, Darrell Ross, Mike Savoie, Jay Rickman, Traycee Martin, Alan Bernstein, Shannon McGee, Bonnie Martin, Lorraine Schmertzing, and Brian Haugabrook.
Valdosta State University’s Mission Statement
As a comprehensive institution of the University System of Georgia, Valdosta State University (VSU) is a welcoming, aware, and vibrant community founded on and dedicated to serving our communities’ rich and diverse heritages. Through excellence in teaching, basic and applied research, and service, VSU provides rigorous programs and opportunities that enrich our students, our university, and our region.  As such, the VSU mission consists of three interrelated parts:

       • Student Mission: To provide a diverse student population with an inspired education, a safe learning environment, a nurturing community, and a wealth of experience that assists students in molding their futures in a creative, conscious, and caring fashion while preparing them to be lifelong learners who will meet the needs of a changing global society.
       • University Mission: To operate the university with a focus toward human, environmental, and financial sustainability while increasing value to our local, regional, national, and international stakeholders. To expand opportunities for our students, employees, and varied community members by promoting social justice and service learning.
       • Regional Mission: To provide our region and our home with the resources and support necessary to develop and sustain a higher quality of living, greater economic and community development, and inspired innovation that nurtures and respects our diverse population and beautiful environment while promoting academic outreach, public and private entrepreneurship, and collaboration  with all regional entities.

Valdosta State University fulfills its mission by focusing on inclusion in all aspects of the educational experience.