Chapter 4 - Criterion One: Mission and Integrity

The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students. The mission and purposes of Valley City State University are influenced by two distinct groups: the North Dakota University System (mission and mandates as directed by the State Board of Higher Education) and the Valley City State University community (the educational philosophy of its faculty, staff, administration, and students).
The North Dakota University System Mission and Mandates
Organized as a system in 1990, the North Dakota University System (NDUS) is made up of 11 public colleges and universities governed by the State Board of Higher Education. The NDUS is composed of two research universities, four regional universities, and five campuses that offer associate and trade/technical degrees. Each institution is unique in its mission to serve the people of North Dakota. The eight-member State Board of Higher Education is the policy-setting body for the North Dakota University System. The board includes seven citizen members appointed by the governor, who serve four-year terms, and one student appointed by the governor for a one-year term. A non-voting faculty advisor and a non-voting staff representative, selected annually by their state-wide Councils, ensure that the issues and concerns of each group have a voice. The North Dakota University System vision is
  • Leading the nation in educational attainment through access, innovation, and excellence.
Its mission is:
  • To enhance the quality of life for all those we serve and the economic and social vitality of North Dakota through the discovery, sharing, and application of knowledge. (NDUS Policy Manual, 100.4, 2011)
The State Board of Higher Education reviews and approves the mission statement of each campus, to ensure that each campus expresses the general purposes of the system. The Board also mandates an institutional mission for each campus. In February 1990, Valley City State University was given the institutional mandate "for superior small-college preparation of teachers and of small-business personnel for its region" and a statewide mission for leadership in the effective use of instructional technology and service to rural areas (SBHE Minutes, February 1990). These mandates and the NDUS mission itself provided a cornerstone for the development of VCSU's mission and vision statements.

Vision and Mission at Valley City State University

In 2002, the SBHE dissolved the shared administration between VCSU and Mayville State University, allowing the institutions to begin the process of differentiating themselves and developing new initiatives to respond to changes in technologies, learning environments, the economic climate, and the business world. VCSU's response to this change was to take time over the next year to reflect and plan, through a series of convocations and a focused review by the Institutional Improvement Committee (IIC). New mission and vision statements resulting from this period of reflection were drafted by the IIC and approved by the Faculty Association on February 20, 2003. The current mission was approved by the State Board of Higher Education at its February 19, 2004, meeting and printed in the 2004-2006 catalog.

University Purposes and Core Values

The University Purposes, also revised by IIC during this period of reflection and planning in 2003, express the general curricular purposes in terms useful for strategic planning:
  • Award degrees in education, business, and the liberal arts and sciences, with all students documenting their competency in Aesthetic Engagement, Communication, Global Awareness, Technology, Collaboration, Effective Citizenship, Problem Solving, and Wellness.
  • Deliver a quality educational experience in an innovative culture and a technologically enhanced environment.
  • Serve the best interests of our students, region, and society.
  • Lead in effectively applying information media technologies for learning.
  • Promote the appreciation of diversity, a multicultural perspective, and global awareness.
These purposes inform the specific curricular and resource planning of all academic units of the institution, providing a foundation for goal setting and strategic planning in each unit (discussed in 1c, below).

In addition, the Core Values provide central guidelines for the decision-making process:
  • MISSION DRIVEN: We are committed to a learner centered philosophy. We make education meaningful with positive relationships and effective practices.
  • QUALITY AND INTEGRITY: We have high expectations for results, integrity, and positive interpersonal relations in all we do.
  • INNOVATION: We are flexible, creative, and free to try new things. We have a strong work ethic, positive attitude, and open mind. We embrace change.
  • COMMUNITY: We trust each other, we work well together, and we are involved with our local and extended communities.
  • DIVERSITY: We believe that diversity of all kinds enriches the quality of thought, discussion, and learning.
The statement of Core Values was reviewed along with the University Mission, Vision, and Purposes in 2003, and remains unchanged. Together, these four documents provide the defining commitments of Valley City State University.

Core Components