Office of the President
Mission Statement Process
Mission statements have historically been ponderous documents created mainly for an internal audience. Today’s mission statements are often shortened to a few words that can easily be used across various communication mediums. The best express both the authentic purpose of the institution and serve as a building block for branding and marketing purposes. In October 2012, the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) Board of Trustees charged a Mission Statement Task Force with reviewing the current College Mission Statement and with bringing recommendations for a revised statement.
The current SMWC Mission Statement reads as follows:
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, a Catholic women's college sponsored by the Sisters of Providence, is committed to higher education in the tradition of the liberal arts. The College serves a diverse community of learners in undergraduate and graduate programs, while maintaining its historical commitment to women in its campus program. By participating in this community, students develop their abilities to think critically, to communicate responsibly, to engage in lifelong learning and leadership, and to effect positive change in a global society.
The Mission Statement Task Force began by gathering and analyzing data from 14 focus groups and over 150 participants. All stakeholder groups were included and everyone was welcome to give input. From there, the Task Force began drafting and refining statements and brought three statements back to the Board of Trustees in February 2013, along with Identity and Values Statements. In concert, the three statements give information formerly contained in one Mission Statement.
At my invitation, stakeholders were asked to prioritize the three mission statements. Over 430 responses were collected and each response was included in the final analysis. 56 percent chose Draft A as their top priority and 102 respondents chose Draft A as their second choice when it was not chosen as their first choice. In the May 2013 Board of Trustees Meeting, the trustees approved Draft A as the SMWC Mission Statement. It was further decided that the Identity, Value and Mission Statements would appear together on our website and in other pertinent communications. They read as follows:
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, the nation’s oldest Catholic, liberal arts college for women, was founded in 1840 by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and the Sisters of Providence. Today, the distance and graduate programs serve both women and men, while the undergraduate campus program maintains its historic commitment to women. The College continues to be sponsored by the Sisters of Providence.
In our relationships and all that we do, we will demonstrate a commitment to the spirituality of the Sisters of Providence and to these values:
Mission Statement (as of May 2013)
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College empowers students to think critically, engage in lifelong leadership, and effect positive change in a spirit of service and social responsibility.
Dottie L. King, Ph.D.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College