Senate Document Number 0401F
Date of Senate Approval 11/08/01
IDC 1: Vision Statement
Preface: During the last two years the University Planning Council has reexamined and revised UNCA's Mission and Guiding Concepts in light of campus input, the Alternate Self-Study for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Chancellor's Task Forces on Community Partnerships, Diversity and Retention. The revised Mission was passed by the Faculty Senate as SD5300S and subsequently adopted by the UNCA Board of Trustees on August 24, 2000 and the revised Guiding Concepts were passed by the Faculty Senate as SD3201S and subsequently adopted by the UNCA Board of Trustees on March 11, 2001. Given the reexamination and revision of UNCA's Mission and Guiding Concepts, the Vision Statement of UNCA was then reconsidered.
Recommendation: As a result of the University Planning Council's reconsideration of UNCA's Vision Statement, it unanimously recommends that UNCA's current Vision Statement
To become the premier public liberal arts college in the United States.
be replaced by
We provide the liberal arts experience at its best.
Rationale: Both the revised Mission and revised Guiding Concepts embody output-oriented views of the university. Thus the revised Mission states that "The University of North Carolina at Asheville offers a superior liberal arts education for well-prepared students who are committed to learning and personal growth." Likewise, the revised Guiding Concepts, in the category What We Do, refers to Emphasis on Learning (Guiding Concept V) and Support of Personal Growth (Guiding Concept VI). These views are expressive of an overall experience that is characteristic of the liberal arts and provided by UNCA. Due to UNCA's Commitment to Excellence and Continuous Improvement (Guiding Concept IV), the university should aim to provide the liberal arts experience at its best.
It is suggested that providing the liberal arts experience at its best is both more meaningful and more attainable than becoming the premier public liberal arts college in the United States. More meaningful because it embraces all liberal arts colleges, not just those that are public, and focuses on the actual experiences that people have rather than the judgment of some external group. More attainable because the liberal arts experience "at its best" manifests itself in many ways, not just one. UNCA is freed, therefore, to find its own way into the category of "the best" and it is not compelled to find its way to the top of some ranking defined by criteria inconsistent with its Mission and Guiding Concepts.