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3.1 Institutional Mission

Comprehensive Standard:

3.1.1 The mission statement is current and comprehensive, accurately guides the institution’s operations, is periodically reviewed and updated, is approved by the governing board, and is communicated to the institution’s constituencies. (Mission)

Statement of Compliance:   In Compliance.

Narrative:

As detailed in the narrative for Core Requirement 2.4, the University of West Georgia has a clearly defined, comprehensive mission statement that fully aligns with the required Core Characteristics of a State University as established by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia [1], [2]. Note: In August of 2013 the University System of Georgia adopted a new classification for institutions in August 2013. The University of West Georgia is now a Comprehensive University. Alignment with this new classification will begin in the Fall of 2013 [3]. This is discussed in the report for Core Requirement 2.5.

As per Board of Regents Policy 2.10 [4], the current University of West Georgia Mission Statement was approved by the University System of Georgia on January 16, 2007 and by SACS on March 19, 2007  [5], [6],  and [7].  The current UWG Mission Statement was the result of review and revision initiated by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs in fall, 2005.  The current version was drafted and approved by the University Faculty Senate in fall, 2006 before being submitted to the Board of Regents and then to SACS for endorsement.  Notably, the University Mission Statement is currently under review as the University of West Georgia’s new Strategic Plan is developed.  The implementation of both is expected in FY 2015.

As a comprehensive institution, UWG offers a range of disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and professional programs at the baccalaureate level. The Institution, also, offers a significant number of graduate programs at the master’s degree and educational specialist’s levels [8]. The University of West Georgia has a growing commitment to education at the doctoral level as evidenced in the offering of doctoral degrees in the fields of Education, Social Sciences, and Nursing [9]. It should be noted that the institution’s major educational components include undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs offered on the main campus, at off-campus locations, and on-line. The University of West Georgia, also, has available an extensive program devoted to continuing education.  These activities and their alignment with the University Mission Statement are detailed in the report for Comprehensive Standard 3.4.2.   

The University of West Georgia's Mission Statement is communicated regularly and often in wide multiple forms and venues.  The Mission Statement is available on the University of West Georgia website [1], it is published in both the Undergraduate Catalog [10]  and the Graduate Catalog [11] and it is published in the annual Fact Book produced by the Office of Institutional Research and Planning [12].

The UWG Mission Statement guides the directions, decisions, activities, polices, and procedures of the Institution.  The most obvious guidance offered in the required implementation of the Mission Statement is its service to the fundaments of the University of West Georgia Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan stipulates to University of West Georgia priorities and focused activities over a multi-year period.  A critical element of the Strategic Plan is the implementation of the Twelve Goals of the Four Guiding Principles. The responsibility for each Goal (1-12) is divided among the four main divisions of University of West Georgia operations: Academic Affairs, Student Services, Business & Finance, and University Advancement.  As a result, the activities of each operational division are guided by the University of West Georgia Mission Statement. Further, progress toward the achievement of the Twelve Goals is evaluated and then reported in the Annual Report of Institutional Progress. The Report of Institutional Progress, also, includes specific examples of divisional activity related to these goals [13], [14].

Moreover, the University of West Georgia Mission Statement informs the reviews and recommendations made by the Rules Committee of the University of West Georgia in furtherance of their charge to address the needs of the Faculty Senate and to provide oversight on the activities thereof [15]. For example, Rules Committee Proposal  addressed Faculty Senate needs by establishing an annual budget in order that the respective Faculty Senate committee could award faculty research grants and meet the demands of the University of West Georgia Mission [16]. This work aided in the pursuit of the University of West Georgia Mission Statement Purpose since it directly addressed the third stipulated Essential Activity of the University of West Georgia Mission Statement:

"Essential Activities: The University of West Georgia pursues its purpose through the following activities: ...Faculty research,   scholarship, and creative endeavors that promote knowledge, enhance professional development, contribute to quality instruction, and provide for significant student involvement and field-based experience" [1].

Rules Committee Proposal  provided oversight on the activities of the Faculty Senate by voting to amend the Protocols of the Senate in order to codify a formal process of remediation when the college and university bylaws were found to be in conflict [15], [16]. This work aided in the pursuit of the University of West Georgia Mission Statement Purpose since it directly addressed the requirements of accreditation where procedures for conducting all university affairs must be established and be consistent in their application [1], [17].

It should be noted as well that, in accordance with the SACS policy on “Distance and Correspondence Education” [18], the University of West Georgia purpose statement includes the following:

"The University is also committed to regional outreach through a collaborative network of external degree centers, course offerings at off campus sites and an extensive program of continuing education for personal and professional development. Opportunities for intellectual and personal development are provided through quality teaching, scholarly inquiry, creative endeavor, and service for the public good" [1].

Note: course offerings at off campus sites include distance learning courses.

Supporting Documentation: