University Goals Statement

Executive Memorandum 90-084

December 10, 1990

From: Robin S. Wilson, President

Subject: University Goals Statement

General Goals

I. To provide education of the highest quality;

II. To maintain an intellectual, cultural, and physical environment which enhances growth in mind, spirit, and human sensibility, and which celebrates the diversity of the human condition.

III. To provide resources for creating, accumulating, communicating, applying and conserving knowledge, including support for the scholarship, research, and creativity of faculty, staff, and students.

IV. To address the educational, cultural, social, and material needs of California, the nation, and the world.

Elaboration of these Goals:

Goal I. The Pursuit of Educational Excellence

            The first mission of the University is to provide excellent education for all its students. While acknowledging the diversity of learning and of student aspirations, we believe that certain intellectual capacities should be common to all students who successfully complete a course of study at California State University, Chico. These include:

  • All students should acquire sound knowledge of nature and society and of the methods for increasing that knowledge over a lifetime.
  • They should acquire deep appreciation and understanding of their intellectual, cultural, and artistic heritage and be emboldened to contribute to that heritage.
  • They should understand our global interdependence in an environmental, economic, and societal sense, and learn how to contribute to the international understanding and cooperation necessary for a peaceful world.
  • They should become able to reason clearly, weigh evidence thoughtfully, and evaluate critically.
  • They should develop a repertoire of communication, interpersonal, and academic skills applicable in any area of human endeavor.
  • And they should gain the confidence to define their own values and the open-mindedness to reassess those values when new evidence warrants.

Excellence in education depends on the quality of the curriculum and the skill of the teacher. Chico’s curriculum should be broad enough to provide a well-rounded education emphasizing humanistic values and analytical skills. It should contain a spectrum of general education courses which will introduce the student to the great scope of knowledge and to the methods, techniques, texts, and history of its accumulation. Interdisciplinary studies will enable students to see the interconnectedness of the world of learning, and elective courses in all disciplines should be available for the non-major who wishes intellectual breadth. At the apex of these more general courses must be a rigorous, demanding, and definitive courses designed to support majors and minors and to equip students for entry into graduate study or the beginning of a lifetime of continuing learning.

With these objectives in mind, we assert that the highest priority of the University must be recruiting, developing, and retaining a faculty dedicated to academic excellence and skilled at achieving it. As that faculty, we affirm our dedication to teaching and learning, to our own growth as scholars and artists and practitioners, to the intellectual maturation of our students, and to the fortunes of our society.

Goal II. The Ambience of Excellence

Within its setting of surpassing natural beauty, CSU, Chico must provide its students continuing exposure to the “best that is known and thought In the world” and to the creations of art, artifice, and artisanship. To complete this environment of beauty and intellect, the University must build a community fully reflecting humanity’s vast cultural and ethnic diversity, itself a major contributor to the ambience of excellence.

Goal III. The Cost of Excellence

Good teaching and learning require rich resources: laboratories, libraries, studios, offices, and—above all—time are the essential tools for translating intellect into discovery and discovery into inspired teaching. The University is obligated to provide these resources in the form of physical facilities, leaves of absence and special assignments, and support for scholarship, research and travel. We are a national resource and we must contribute to the national agenda in the arts, sciences, and professions. 

Goal IV. The Extension of Excellence

Good universities and their faculties live in real worlds and respond sensitively to the needs and demands of those worlds. Our world has been conditioned by geographical remoteness, and we have responded by developing the tools, skills, and programs to bring the cultural wealth of our institution to people in our community, nation, and world. We will continue to reach out with excellence, providing cultural access and education to men, women and children wherever and whenever their interests and our capacity intersect.