Diversity. Integrity. Character. Excellence.
If you have ever applied to college, you have seen these words. They sound strong, reassuring, like the kind of words you would want other people to use when describing you, whether it be as an individual or an organization.
I personally feel that the description you give yourself is not nearly as credible as the description given to you by others. Although no one knows you better than yourself, it’s hard to remain an observer and create unbiased conclusions when so much of what we think and do is based off of our feelings and personal goals.
Today in the office, we were
politely asked assigned to research the mission and value statements from other Universities. I heard A LOT about diverse learning opportunities, upholding standards of excellence, and maintaining integrity. While all these things are good and well, nothing stuck. Each university’s statement felt interchangeable, and to be quite honest – like a load of B.S. I’m not saying they were dishonest, because they aren’t, I’m just saying that none of these values distinguished or set any school apart from each other because these are all the same values that any university aims to represent. Are these the values that the students, faculty, community members and alumni feel are an accurate portrayal of the school, or are these buzz words created by a PR team to sell students and parents?
I’m not saying that there’s a problem with a PR team using buzz words (because that’s what were about to do) but the exciting and awesome thing about this whole strategic visioning process is that we aren’t the ones who will be creating them. They will be a culmination of (hopefully) thousands of opinions from anyone with any relation to IUP. They will be the direct reflection of what we are, told by the people, to the people.
We aren’t going to sit and tell you why we think we’re special; we’re going to let you hear it from everyone who knows it from experience. Don’t just take the manufacturer’s word for it, because we’re here to show you the reviews.