Friday, May 01, 2009


We're facing another accreditation thing soon, so there's been lots of preparatory stuff happening.

One of the things that happened at some point is that someone went around campus and asked people to talk about the NWU mission statement, and no one could. That statement was adopted at a time in the past when mission statements were supposed to say pretty much everything about a place, and tended to be a paragraph long.

Now, of course, the fashion is for short, pithy statements.

I don't tend to think highly of mission statements. Like gnomic statements (hi Classics Guy!), they're short and pithy and pretty much that's their value. Or they're long and no one can actually remember them. Now, recognize that you're reading the words of someone who has trouble saying the pledge of allegiance, long before I get to the under god part, because I think we should pledge to the constitution rather than the flag.

But, if I had my druthers, our mission would be "End patriarchy."

But you know that would scare the dickens out of lots of people, right? Or maybe I could go with "Play bikes and read!"

So what would your scary mission statement be?


  1. I'd choose "Advance!"

  2. Ask!

    PS: a few years ago, they gave us our mission statement on little credit-card-sized papers that we were supposed to carry around with us, then strike up conversations with students and share it. Like, you know, in the elevator and such. How creepy is that?

  3. An institution where I used to work had paid some consultants $500,000 to "brand" us, and they came up with three words, which were printed on the back of our business cards...

  4. Workers of the world unite!

    oh, wait, that's been taken.

    Susan, what were the three words???

  5. Anonymous1:58 PM

    I quite like your "End Patriarchy!" mission statement. It requires thinking, asking, and action, all in one excellent goal.

  6. Personal Progressive Powerful

    Seriously. We paid half a million dollars for that. They lasted about a year, until the pres who had done that got fired for financial malfeasance.

  7. I actually have a personal mission statement about teaching (yes, it's a little embarrassing!): I teach to give people the power to change their lives. [small blush-and-grin] it's helpful to me.

    Ink, that is totally creepy. They were taking a tip from Campus Crusade for Christ, or what?

  8. My mission statement: Justice Now!

    (Which, as you can see, would end the patriarchy and leave time for riding bikes and require us to ask questions and think.)

  9. Late to the commenting party, but mine tends to be "abolish mission statements." I've been on boards that have spent months figuring out something catchy instead of just getting work DONE! :)