2.1 Purpose and Mission

(09/99; 09/07)

2.1(1) Statutory Definition

Iowa Code Chapter 263 establishes the University of Iowa. It defines its purpose as providing the best and most efficient means of imparting to men and women, upon equal terms, a liberal education and thorough knowledge of the different branches of literature and the arts and sciences, with their varied applications. It shall include colleges of liberal arts and sciences, law, medicine, and such other colleges and departments, with such courses of instruction and elective studies as the Board of Regents may determine from time to time.

2.1(2) Regents' Statement

The Board of Regents has further refined the mission statement of the university: The State University of Iowa is committed to undergraduate, professional, graduate, and continuing education. To discharge this commitment, as part of its established mission, the university engages in teaching, research, and appropriate extension, health, and other public services. The university is recognized as having a broad mandate in order that it may continue to be a distinguished state university, offering preprofessional courses, the full panoply of undergraduate liberal arts and science courses, graduate and professional work in law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, engineering, and allied fields related to these professional disciplines, as well as social work, business administration, journalism, education (early childhood, elementary, secondary, and higher), library science, and all the liberal arts and sciences. It will offer no major programs in agriculture; architecture; forestry; industrial arts; veterinary medicine; agricultural, aeronautical, or ceramic engineering. It will be characterized by a general orientation toward human growth, the health sciences, the humanities, the fine arts, and the social sciences. It will continue to maintain strong programs in the physical and biological sciences and engineering (IAC [681]12.1 and 12.3).

2.1(3) University Statement

Upon founding the University of Iowa in 1847, Iowa's first legislature entrusted it with a threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service. In pursuing that mission today, the university seeks to advance scholarly and creative endeavor through leading-edge research and artistic production; to use this research and creativity to enhance undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, health care, and other services provided to the people of Iowa, the nation, and the world; and to educate students for success and personal fulfillment in an increasingly diverse and global environment.

  1. Aspiration. The University of Iowa aspires to attract the most talented faculty, staff, and students; to provide an environment where they can discover and fulfill their potential; and thereby to realize its promise, which is to become one of the ten most distinguished public universities in the country.

    (The institution's aspiration originated with the university Self-Study Committee and was first iterated in Building on Strength, the 1987 report prepared for the university's re-accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities. The Self-Study Committee ... "strongly reaffirmed" the commitment. In the 1995–2000, 2000–2005, and 2005–2010 strategic plans, the university has continued to express confidence in the motivational value of the university's bold and lofty Aspiration.)
  2.  Goals.
    1. To create a university experience that enriches the lives of undergraduates and helps them to become well-informed individuals, lifelong learners, engaged citizens, and productive employees and employers.
    2. To cultivate excellent graduate and professional programs, and to advance the research and scholarly enterprise.
    3. To promote excellence in education by increasing the diversity of the faculty, staff, and students.
    4. To strengthen the university's intellectual and community vitality.
    5. To broaden the university's service mission to include stronger partnerships with public constituencies.
  3. Core Values. In planning, setting priorities, and carrying out every aspect of its mission, the University of Iowa is guided by seven interdependent commitments:
    1.  Excellence,
    2. Learning,
    3. Community,
    4. Diversity,
    5. Integrity,
    6. Respect, and
    7. Responsibility.

The University of Iowa is a community of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends who seek to advance knowledge and foster learning across a broad range of academic endeavors. So that learning and creative expression may flourish, the university takes seriously its obligation to protect academic freedom and free expression; maintain a safe, supportive, healthy, and humane environment; and nourish a system of collaborative decision making based on mutual respect and shared governance. Because diversity, broadly defined, advances its mission of teaching, research, and service, the university is dedicated to an inclusive community in which people of different cultural, national, individual, and academic backgrounds encounter one another in a spirit of cooperation, openness, and shared appreciation.

The university recognizes its accountability to the people of Iowa and the need to exercise responsible stewardship over the intellectual and material resources entrusted to it, including the need to direct those resources to programs and initiatives that are central to the university's core mission. In all that it does, the university measures itself by exacting standards, promotes continuous improvement, honors excellence and high aspiration, and holds its community as a whole to the highest degree of honesty, fairness, and personal integrity.