Creating and sharing a new mission

Donna Llewellyn, Institute for STEM and Diversity Initiatives, Boise State University

As soon as the Executive Director came on board, she gathered the existing staff to start working on the mission of the Institute. Since we were transitioning from a grant-funded center with a very clear mission and scope, it was critical that we get ahead of our stakeholders and define our mission to be what we wanted it to be. Since one of our staff members was not officially joining the Institute for 5 months, we hired her on part-time to be able to participate in our mission sessions. We met for an hour twice a week to hammer out first what our priorities would be and then how to state these in a way that would be both aspirational and scope defining.

After approximately 5 weeks, we held a meeting of all of our stakeholders on campus to introduce our mission statement and to gather feedback. We answered concerns of those who found parts either too limiting or too broad (there were both types of responses). Then we tweaked the statement to still accomplish what we wanted and to answer the most pressing concerns.

Once the mission was complete, we put it on our website and carried it in hard copy format to every meeting we attended. We started every meeting by handing out our mission and discussing how it guides our work. Because Diversity is part of our Institute title and that can be a lightning rod type of word, we also created a side document articulating our office perspective and interpretation on that part of our mission.

The main way that we adapt this mission is to elaborate on the part of it that is most relevant for a particular audience.


Center Profile: Institute for STEM and Diversity Initiatives - Boise State University