Most universities today develop and publish statements explaining their purposes and describing their programs. Official boards that govern a campus or coordinate its activities in relation to other campuses also develop and publish such statements. For UALR there are mission statements and role and scope statements developed at three levels: the University of Arkansas System, the statewide coordinating board, and the campus. Although not identical, the statements are similar and consistent in content, each reflecting a different perspective from a different level of responsibility.
The mission statement typically is brief, general, and philosophical. It states why the institution exists. It addresses fundamental purposes and permanent commitments. It distinguishes the university from other societal institutions such as a church, a factory, a political party, or an elementary school.
The role and scope statement is more concrete and specific than the mission statement. Elements of a role and scope statement have only relative permanence. The role and scope statement distinguishes one university from other universities. Each university campus has a role to play in a larger cast of actors. Thus role and scope statements tend to be of particular concern to officials responsible for governing or coordinating multiple university campuses.
The role and scope statement typically discloses the nature and range of the institution’s responsibilities and activities: geographical service area; disciplines in which programs are provided; levels of degree offerings, e.g., associate, baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral; dominant characteristics of the student clientele; other constituencies to be served; emphasis areas; and sometimes future directions.
University of Arkansas System Mission
The University of Arkansas is a comprehensive, multi-campus, publicly-aided institution dedicated to the improvement of the mind and spirit through the development and dissemination of knowledge.
The University embraces and expands the historic trust inherent in the land-grant philosophy by providing access to academic and professional education, by developing intellectual growth and cultural awareness in its students, and by applying knowledge and research skills to an ever-changing human condition. (Adopted by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, 1989)
University of Arkansas at Little Rock Mission
The mission of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is to develop the intellect of students; to discover and disseminate knowledge; to serve and strengthen society by enhancing awareness in scientific, technical, and cultural arenas; and to promote humane sensitivities and understanding of interdependence. Within this broad mission are the responsibilities to use quality instruction to instill in students a lifelong desire to learn; to use knowledge in ways that will contribute to society; and to apply the resources and research skills of the University community to the service of the city, the state, the nation, and the world in ways that will benefit humanity. (Adopted by the UALR Faculty Senate, 1988)
The University, through its various programs, works toward six mission objectives:
- Excellence in Instruction: The University has a responsibility to provide excellence in instruction to ensure high-quality education for our students. This responsibility includes developing faculty teaching skills, awareness of the ways students learn, assessing student learning outcomes, and enhancement of resources to support effective instruction.
- Scholarly Inquiry: The University has a responsibility to use scholarly inquiry to advance the discovery, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge. This responsibility includes the creation of a university environment that supports diverse research activities by faculty, staff, and students.
- Service to Society: The University has a responsibility to serve society through the application of knowledge and research skills. This responsibility includes applying the University’s resources to local, state, national, and international needs in order to improve the human condition.
- Community of Learning: The University has a responsibility to provide a community of learning through creation of an academic environment that stimulates students, faculty, and staff to become lifelong learners. This environment should heighten the intellectual, cultural, and humane sensitivities of students, faculty, and staff.
- Accessibility: The University has a responsibility to serve the needs of a heterogeneous student population and to make its resources accessible to the general public and to local, state, national, and international groups. This responsibility includes creating opportunities for access to the University’s academic and other resources.
- Responsiveness: The University has a responsibility to remain responsive to a changing environment and society. This responsibility includes a continuous assessment of the University’s strengths and weaknesses in planning for and meeting internal and external needs. It also includes developing the faculty, staff, and students’ desire and capacity in order to create an academic community that is open to change and ready to meet the demands of a dynamic environment and student body.
(Adopted by the UALR Faculty Senate, 1988)
Role and Scope
As the state’s metropolitan university, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) has the responsibility for serving:
- Residents of Arkansas and the Little Rock metropolitan area who have completed a high school education and are seeking either a college degree or continuing professional education. As a metropolitan university, the institution serves adult, part-time students in particular.
- Employers across the state, particularly in the region, both public and private, seeking well-educated employees, technical assistance and applied research.
- Economic development interests and entrepreneurs in the region and across the state.
- The research community.
- The community and area by providing a broad range of academic and cultural activities and public events.
- Area K-12 schools seeking college general education courses for advanced students.
- Two-year college transfer students.
Array of Programs and Services
UALR serves these audiences by providing:
- Baccalaureate programs in arts and humanities, the natural sciences, and social sciences appropriate to a teaching institution with a predominantly undergraduate student body.
- Associate, baccalaureate and masters programs in the professional fields of particular importance in the region, including journalism and communications, public administration and community services, computer and information science, nursing, human services (including social work and criminal justice), education, engineering, and business.
- Doctoral programs most needed by regional and state employers, most importantly programs in education and applied science.
- Services specifically designed to meet the needs of statewide and regional economic development–continuing professional education, technical and professional services, support of small businesses and entrepreneurs, and technology transfer.
- Institute for Economic Advancement
- Nanotechnology Center
- UALR-UAMS joint academic and research programs.