With revised mission statement, university has a guide for the future

Board of Regents approves change, which is part of new 10-year strategic plan
The sun rises over UW-Stout’s Bowman Hall and the quill atop the Clock Tower. / UW-Stout photo
​Jerry Poling | October 15, 2021

A revised mission statement, part of a new 10-year strategic plan, has received Board of Regents approval to guide University of Wisconsin-Stout into a post-pandemic society and into the future. 

At the October meeting of the UW System Board of Regents, the mission statement received final approval, culminating more than a year of work to update it while remaining true to the school’s founding principles set forth in 1891 by James Huff Stout. 

The revised statement reads: 

The University of Wisconsin-Stout prepares students for careers through applied learning and research, professional experiences, and collaborative partnerships to benefit a global society. As Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, we fulfill our mission through a curriculum that combines interdisciplinary knowledge and discipline-specific technical skills with critical thinking, creative problem-solving, communication, and social and ethical reasoning skills to better the human condition. We offer career-focused undergraduate and graduate programs for diverse students, in a variety of in-person, hybrid, and virtual modalities, organized around career clusters that include: 

  • Science, technology, engineering and mathematics; 
  • Art and design; 
  • Business and management; 
  • Education; 
  • Social and behavioral sciences; 
  • Information technology and communications; and 
  • Health sciences and human services. 
Students in an environmental science class work on a prairie restoration project near campus, an example of UW-Stout’s applied learning focus.
Students in an environmental science class work on a prairie restoration project near campus, an example of UW-Stout’s applied learning focus. / UW-Stout

The revisions cover an increased emphasis on UW-Stout’s polytechnic tenets of applied learning, collaboration with business and industry, and career focus; a focus on changes and opportunities realized during the COVID-19 pandemic; and alignment with the university’s seven career clusters. 

The mission statement was last revised in 2009. 

“A 10-year strategic plan encourages innovative, visionary thinking. This is of particular importance because we must challenge our traditional ways of knowing and doing to be successful in a post-pandemic environment,” said Chancellor Katherine Frank. 

The statement revision and the FOCUS2030 strategic plan, the latter which was launched in May 2021, were part of a yearlong process that began in July 2020. A meeting was held with approximately 80 people, including 50 external stakeholders such as business and community leaders, legislators, Regents, and UW System officials, to help inform development of the university’s goals for the next decade.

Katherine Frank
Chancellor Katherine Frank / UW-Stout

As a result of the meeting, it was determined that the mission statement needed to be revised. A public hearing on the proposed statement was held in August prior to Board of Regents approval. 

Along with the mission statement changes and FOCUS2030 plan, the university’s vision statement, part of its mission and values, also has been revised. Key changes include an expanded focus on equity, diversity and inclusivity; enhanced future focus, including a progression from a regional to international leader; and an increased focus on polytechnic tenets, specifically career.  

The vision statement reads: 

University of Wisconsin-Stout prepares lifelong learners, ethical leaders and responsible citizens in an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable environment through collaborative career-focused programs that integrate applied learning, theory and research. We will advance our position as a future-focused polytechnic institution and as a regional, national and international leader in higher education in a diverse society. 

The FOCUS2030 plan has five goals that are guiding short-term and long-term decision-making. They are: 

  • Student success 
  • Employee success 
  • Institutional sustainability 
  • Equity, diversity and inclusivity 
  • Identity. 

The goals align with a series of action plans managed by the university’s Strategic Planning Group, which is made up of faculty, staff and students. 

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