Jun 7th, 2005 @ 10:18 am | Author: By Ellen-Earle Chaffee
As we reflect on the past year and prepare for the next one, we are focusing again on our most fundamental commitments at Valley City State University. I want you to be aware of them so that you, too, can identify ways we can better fulfill these commitments.

Our mission tells why we exist: Valley City State University prepares people for life through visionary leadership and exemplary practices in teaching, learning, and service.

The mission statement is so fundamental that it seldom changes. Notice that it focuses on the results we seek for our graduates, properly treating our own actions as means to that end. VCSU is learner-centered, meaning that our primary goal is to "prepare people for life," and that goal drives our priorities and daily efforts.

Our vision describes the future we are seeking: Valley City State University is nationally acclaimed for attracting and retaining talented individuals who advance quality learning opportunities and economic growth through technology and innovation.

The university's vision statement is intentionally open. The talented individuals we seek to attract and retain include students, faculty, staff, and residents throughout the region. The vision emphasizes our core strengths in technology and innovation, while also recognizing that these strengths impact not only quality learning experiences but also economic growth. Our commitment to building the population and economy of the Sheyenne Valley region is central to the university's vision.

Our purposes describe our desired results:

1.Award degrees in education, business, and the liberal arts and sciences.
2.Deliver a quality educational experience in an innovative culture and a technologically enhanced environment.
3.Serve the best interests of our students, region, and society.
4.Lead in effectively applying information media technologies for learning.
5.Promote the appreciation of diversity, a multicultural perspective, and global awareness.

Like many organizations, we have also defined our core values:

Mission Driven - We are committed to a learner centered philosophy. We make education meaningful with positive relationships and effective practices.

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.

Quality and Integrity - We have high expectations for results, integrity, and positive interpersonal relations in all we do.

Diversity - We believe that diversity of all kinds enriches the quality of thought, discussion, and learning.

These commitments are built into the university's strategic plan and, to the extent possible, into our budget. They certainly are evident in many of our programs and key initiatives.

You might think that these statements are just like those of every other college. This may be true to some extent, but commitment to these elements is quite distinctive to VCSU: learner outcomes, exemplary practices, attracting and retaining talented individuals, economic growth, innovation, information media-rich environment, and community involvement. We believe that these qualities greatly enhance our opportunity to prepare people for life and to make positive differences throughout our community.