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Mission Statement and Goals

The Faculty Senate, with the concurrence of the President, approved revisions to the University’s mission statement on May 15, 2013, to replace the statement that had been in effect since May 31, 1985.  The Board of Visitors, after making additional modifications, approved the mission statement on November 15, 2013.  The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) approved the mission statement on January 14, 2014, to be effective 30 days following adjournment of the 2014 General Assembly.   


The University of Virginia is a public institution of higher learning guided by a founding vision of discovery, innovation, and development of the full potential of talented students from all walks of life. It serves the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world by developing responsible citizen leaders and professionals; advancing, preserving, and disseminating knowledge; and providing world-class patient care.

We are defined by:

  • Our enduring commitment to a vibrant and unique residential learning  environment marked by the free and collegial exchange of ideas;
  • Our unwavering support of a collaborative, diverse community bound together by distinctive foundational values of honor, integrity, trust, and respect;
  • Our universal dedication to excellence and affordable access.


Letter from State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to President Sullivan - January 15, 2014
1974 Statement of Purpose and Goals
1985 Statement of Purpose and Goals


The University of Virginia seeks to achieve its central purpose through the pursuit of the following specific goals:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 undergraduate programs.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. To attract and retain eminent faculty in order to provide the highest quality of instruction and leadership in research.
  6. 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.
  7. To strive for diversity in the student body and in the faculty and to promote international exchange of scholars and students.
  8. 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.
  9. To expand educational opportunities for persons with special challenges such as minority status, physical disability, ethnic heritage, or insufficient financial resources.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. To provide continuing education programs of the highest quality to the Commonwealth and the nation.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.