The university pursues the preservation, enrichment, and transmission of knowledge and culture across a broad scope of academic disciplines. It places the highest priority on programs of instruction and learning that educate students to be lifelong, independent learners.
The university seeks a diverse student body representing a wide range of ethnic origins, interests, financial resources, and aptitudes, provided that each student is prepared to benefit from the course of study in prospect. Accessibility to the programs of the university is advanced through extending off-campus educational opportunities through selected degree programs, continuing education courses, cultural outreach, and economic development activities.
The university emphasizes excellent teaching, scholarship, and service in accomplishing its aims. It strives for an active, student-centered learning environment grounded in the principles of academic freedom and responsibility. The university requires its baccalaureates to complete an area of specialization and an extensive general studies curriculum that emphasizes the liberal arts. An accomplished and diverse faculty, drawn from leading centers of scholarship nationwide, teaches the general studies curriculum as well as the curricula in the academic disciplines. The university supports scholarly and creative activities that involve undergraduate students, enhance instructional programs, and aid faculty professional development.
The university seeks to foster in each student personal and intellectual qualities essential to responsible life in society such as integrity, respect for others, initiative, diligence, qualitative skill, and capacities for clear thinking, speaking, and writing. These qualities are cultivated best through personal experience in the company of others, and the university thus affirms its tradition of residential education. Opportunities to engage with others in residential life, and in activities in arts, athletics, service, study, and social groups are integral to the educational mission of the university.