Background Materials

Because we will be talking about values, mission statements, and vision statements, it would be good to agree on the meaning of these terms. 

Mission Statement

The mission statement provides the reason Cornell College exists. We intend to convene a working group to review, and potentially to rewrite, the college’s mission statement with the goal of reaffirming the college’s mission in today’s world--two faculty, one student, Dee Ann Rexroat, Joe Dieker.  They will report back to the committee as soon as possible.  

Our current mission statement:

Cornell is an independent, coeducational, residential liberal arts college, established in 1853, nurtured by the United Methodist Church, and dedicated to fostering intellectual, moral, and personal growth. 

The College is committed to sustaining a community devoted to liberal learning and democratic values. To this end, it seeks to provide a caring environment for living and learning, characterized by close relationships, physical and emotional well-being, appreciation of diversity, affirmation of equal opportunity and academic freedom, and respect for the dignity and worth of each individual.

Cornell College endeavors to provide opportunities for pursuing liberal education that allow Cornell students to:

  • explore widely the range of human experience and investigate carefully the work of a chosen discipline;
  • analyze problems and synthesize solutions;
  • integrate theory and practice; and
  • read critically, reason effectively, engage creatively, feel deeply, evaluate fairly, respond imaginatively, communicate clearly, and act responsibly.

Cornell College endorses liberal education as an end in itself and as a means of empowering students for leadership through productive careers and humane service in the global community.

Values

These are the values that must be present in the community for our vision to come to pass.  These do not include values that would be considered the norm but rather those that are special and should be emphasized.  We intend to review and make explicit the college’s values. 

Vision Statement

A vision is a statement is about what the college aspires to be. It gives shape and direction to the future, which produces passion in the present.  It should resonate campus-wide and help the entire college community feel proud, excited, and part of something bigger.  It gives direction to current actions, initiatives, and discussions.  The mission statement working group also will suggest options for a contemporary vision statement. 

Two recent Cornell vision statements are:

  • A national liberal arts college with a distinctive One Course At A Time academic calendar, Cornell College offers extraordinary learning opportunities to students in the classroom, on campus, and in the world.  The College engages motivated students in a caring living and learning community and offers them opportunities for intellectual and personal growth. A Cornell education empowers graduates for meaningful lives, productive careers, and humane service in the global community.
  • An education which transforms individual lives can help individuals transform society. Cornell strives to deliver this kind of education, and in service of this vision Cornell provides students with one extraordinary opportunity after another—in the classroom, on campus and around the world. Our strategic imperative is to secure the college’s position as a national liberal arts college. Realizing our vision will lead us to a secure position. A secure position means that in educational quality, financial strength, enrollment and reputation, the College is comparable to and competitive with institutions ranked in the second tier of U.S. News and World Report.