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XU mission statement changing

By Saunta Anderson
On November 9, 2011

The first formal rewrite of the University's Mission Statement

since 1987 has begun its second phase of revision by the University Mission Statement Task Force (MSTF), appointed by President, Fr. Michael Graham, S.J. Xavier's current mission statement is a page-and-a-half-long

text, which is outdated. The revision of the mission statement provides an opportunity to make it more applicable to Xavier's current community.

The MSTF consists of five faculty and five personnel

from the Xavier community. Dr. Sandra Richtermeyer, the

chair of accountancy and business law, and Dr.

Daniel Otero, an associate professor from the mathematics department, are the co-chairs of the

Task Force. "We don't want to make it sound like an advertisement. We want it to be genuine and descriptive

about who we are. We would like it to have a specific kind of

poetry and that's a challenge to pull off," Otero said.

"It's an opportunity to sit back and think about who we are… and to exhort ourselves to greater achievements consistent with our self-identity" To guide the MSTF, Fr. Graham first drafted a vision statement. For clarification, the mission statement describes the University's identity and purpose, but the vision statement describes what the University aspires to be. The MSTF also referred to mission statements of the other 27 Jesuit universities. A few weeks ago, the MSTF released the first draft of the mission statement for initial feedback from the more permanent Xavier faculty and staff community. "We were amazed by the comprehensive comments and suggestions received in the first round," Richtermeyer said. The Task Force received over 75 group responses from the departments and divisions. The most common suggestion was to shorten the length. "The mission statement ought to be concise and direct... let people know what Xavier stands for

right up front," Otero said. After receiving feedback from the faculty and staff, the MSTF took individual suggestions for

the second time from the entire Xavier community through the XU Portal. The MSTF received over 40 responses. by the deadline of Oct. 31. Right now, the MSTF is working

on the second draft. The responses from the last round were mostly praise. However, some of the words chosen did not have clear meanings to the community. Otero describes the process as delicate and anticipates

that the mission statement will properly serve Xavier for the next 10 years or more. The Task Force encourages

the students to participate in the process as well. Whether or not feedback will be asked from the whole community

again on the second or third drafts is uncertain. Ideally, the Task Force will have the final draft for the Board of Trustees to approve May 4, 2012. For the next draft of the mission statement and more information about the revision visit:

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