Mission, vision, values, and purpose

Our Mission

Western Oregon University creates lasting opportunities for student success through transformative education and personalized support.

Our Vision

To become Oregon’s campus of choice for students, faculty and staff who seek a student-centered learning community.

Western Oregon University will achieve this vision by:

  • Cultivating student success through personalized attention, mentoring and degree attainment.
  • Raising awareness of our strengths, successes and contributions to the community through increased public outreach.
  • Adapting to the changing world through continuous institutional improvement, evolving pedagogies and expertise, sustained scholarly and creative activities, and delivery of critical and innovative programs.
  • Aspiring to standards of excellence in all programs.
  • Challenging students, faculty and staff to grow profoundly through inspiring, thought-provoking educational experiences.
  • Connecting students with communities through engagement in service, experiential learning, creative problem-solving opportunities and co-curricular collaborations.
  • Supporting the inclusion of, respect for, and appreciation of all communities of students, faculty and staff.
  • Promoting the well-being of students, employees and the environment.

Our Values

Our practices are guided by our values:

  • Accessibility
    Programs, resources, media and structures that support the needs of our community members; affordable cost of attendance; personalized support; welcoming, efficient and user-friendly systems.
  • Accountability
    Evidence-based decision making, integrity and ethical transparency.
  • Collaboration
    Effective communication; cooperative exploration, problem solving, and teamwork; shared governance; dialogue.
  • Community
    Trustworthy, caring, safe environment for the cultivation of peace, civility and social justice; connections extending beyond the classroom, across campus and into our local and global communities.
  • Diversity and Respect
    Equity and inclusion; a fundamental basis in human diversity; appreciation for the complexity of the world; strength drawn from our variety of backgrounds, abilities, cultural experiences, identities, knowledge domains and means of expression.
  • Empowerment
    Knowledge, skills, pathways, technologies and resources for all community members to effectively identify and utilize opportunities; student success in degree attainment; critical thinking.
  • Excellence
    High standards for teaching, learning, scholarship and service; co-curricular activities; advancement of knowledge, analytical skills, creativity and innovation.
  • Sustainability and Stewardship
    Leadership in service of the public good; action to improve the health of our planet; responsibility for preserving and enhancing the natural, structural, financial, intellectual, and human resources entrusted to us.

Our Purpose

As the first public institution of higher education established in Oregon, we uphold an enduring commitment to the value of teaching and learning. Our academic and co-curricular activities enhance the economic, cultural and intellectual vitality of our region and the larger world. To serve the greater good, we educate individuals in an accessible and supportive environment. Our students enjoy a personalized experience in a comprehensive, mid-sized public university. The knowledge and abilities cultivated in our graduate programs meet compelling needs for work, service and leadership beyond our campus. Western Oregon University empowers its students, employees and alumni to lead meaningful, responsible lives.