Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Vision - Renewed Purpose

Anytime you venture off into unknown territory, it's good to have a map or some sort of guide to provide direction along the way. Our new statements of vision, mission, purpose and values provide just that, as we begin the implementation of an exciting new strategic plan. These statements will provide a collective focus as we intentionally work to create our future and anchor us in times of uncertainty that are bound to appear with change - both planned and unplanned.

New Vision
As I recently heard an inspirational speaker say, "vision is important - it is so important because it sustains you for the long haul." As he spoke, I thought about that long haul and how vision - be it a personal vision or one for an organization like MVCC - can inspire you to do more in good times and keep you going in bad times. Our new vision of "transforming lives by creating an innovative learning environment that meets the needs of our rapidly changing communities" is the result of a full year of conversation and analysis from faculty and staff and listening to members of our external community. A vision of having people's lives transformed through the power of education and creating an innovative learning environment goes far beyond offering classes and programs and speaks to a community college that is vibrant and significant in the eyes of the community, students, faculty and staff associated with it.

Renewed Mission and Purpose
At the core, our mission has not changed but separating them out into two statements of mission and purpose allows us to clarify and focus our mission and provide a greater sense of purpose. Our new mission statement certainly provides that focus - to "promote student success and community involvement through a commitment to excellence and a spirit of service." Putting student success first and foremost in our minds and bringing community involvement to life along with committing to excellence and service makes it a little easier to get out of bed each day for me. In addition, the new statement of purpose highlights the fact that we have a comprehensive array of programs and services that must be continuously balanced for the overall success of our College and our community - “As a diverse institution with a global view, MVCC provides opportunities for affordable education, with support from Oneida County and the State of New York, and offers career, transfer and transitional education, programs for personal and culture enrichment and supports community and economic development.”

Values at the Core
And having a brand new statement of core values provides a steady compass for the journey in pursuit of our vision. The core values of Learning, Accessibility, Affordability, Collaboration, Diversity, Excellence and Integrity were identified through a series of workshops involving all full-time faculty and staff that provided a chance to reflect on who we are and what values we share in the MVCC community. Bringing our core values to life in our daily work in the years to come will not only transform our organization and how it feels to be a part of it, but will help MVCC move from a successful community college to a significant community asset.

Put simply, our vision is about aspiration - what we aspire to become; our mission and purpose are a little more about perspiration - what we work hard to fulfill in our daily efforts or WHAT we do; and our values represent HOW we do our work. I hope you're as excited as I am about what it feels like to have such focus and direction - now we just need to put our collective shoulder to the wheel and start turning. Let me know what you think at presblog@mvcc.edu.