Statement of Purpose and Goals
Purpose: The central purpose of the University of Virginia is to enrich
the mind by stimulating and sustaining a spirit of free inquiry directed
to understanding the nature of the universe and the role of mankind in
it. Activities designed to quicken, discipline, and enlarge the
intellectual and creative capacities, as well as the aesthetic and
ethical awareness, of the members of the University and to record,
preserve, and disseminate the results of intellectual discovery and
creative endeavor serve this purpose. In fulfilling it, the University
places the highest priority on achieving eminence as a center of higher
Goals: The University of Virginia seeks to achieve its central purpose
through the pursuit of the following specific goals:
- To offer instruction of the highest quality to undergraduates
from all walks of life, not only by transmitting established knowledge
and skills, but by fostering in students the habits of mind and
character required to develop a generous receptivity to new ideas, from
whatever source; a disposition for applying the most rigorous criticism
to all ideas and institutions, whether old or new; an ability to test
hypotheses and re-interpret human experience; and a desire to engage in
a lifetime of learning.
- To sustain liberal education as the central intellectual
concern of the University, not only in the curricula of the College of
Arts and Sciences, but also as a foundation for the professional
- To educate men and women for the professions in certain
undergraduate and in graduate programs leading to degrees in the School
of Architecture, Business Administration, Commerce, Education,
Engineering and Applied Science, Law, Medicine, and Nursing.
- To lead in the advancement and application of knowledge
through graduate study and research and to disseminate the results among
scholars and the general public.
- To attract and retain eminent faculty in order to provide the
highest quality of instruction and leadership in research.
- To seek the ablest and most promising students, within the
Commonwealth and without; and, in keeping with the intentions of Thomas
Jefferson, to attend to their total development and well-being; and to
provide appropriate intellectual, athletic, and social programs.
- To strive for diversity in the student body and in the
faculty and to promote international exchange of scholars and students.
- To provide for students and faculty an atmosphere conducive
to fellowship and understanding and to their constructive participation
in the affairs of the University and the community at large.
- To expand educational opportunities for persons with special
challenges such as minority status, physical disability, ethnic
heritage, or insufficient financial resources.
- To engage in research in the medical sciences and to provide
innovative leadership in health care and medical services in the local
community, the Commonwealth and the nation.
- To offer to the local community, the Commonwealth of
Virginia and the nation the various kinds of public service and
intellectual and cultural activities which are consonant with the
purposes of the University.
- To provide continuing education programs of the highest
quality to the Commonwealth and the nation.
- To cooperate with and assist other colleges, educational
institutions, and agencies, especially in the Commonwealth of Virginia,
by making available to them the facilities of the University and the
experience and counsel of its members so as to contribute to education
in the Commonwealth and beyond.
- To establish new programs, schools, and degrees, and to
undertake such research as the needs of the Commonwealth of Virginia and
the nation may require.
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