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Miss State debacle denouement involves no nudity or racial purity

Last updated on 11/04/2014

Diane Dietz has the story on the new Mission Statement in the RG, here. I’m not going to post excerpts, you’ve got to read the whole thing for the hilarious quotes. And for a not so hilarious previous mission statement’s bullet point about “conservation and betterment … of our racial heritage.”

The Board of Trustees had to fly into town yesterday just to pass this new version, or they will tomorrow, or they didn’t, or won’t. Whatever.

The good news is that when they do get to town, the Trustees will not have to worry about seeing naked people. Say what you will about the UO administration: they’ve got the nudity covered, and the emails Andy Stahl is looking for have been disappeared, as Dietz explains here.


  1. Dog 11/04/2014

    Personally, I like the one carved in stone. It contain this sentence:

    “Its organization must evoke the most intimate interplay of thought & purpose.”

    simple, direct, broad and deep.

    Reflects the time before marketing corrupted us all …

    • uomatters Post author | 11/04/2014

      Rumor is the new MissState will be power-washed into the sidewalk in front of Matt Court

      • that effing Dog again 11/04/2014

        Nah, it will be chiseled in digital stone at Matt Court

        • uomatters Post author | 11/04/2014

          Flat-screen TV’s mounted under diamond plates will replace the sidewalk, so the Miss State can be changed every 10 ms.

          • that effing Dog again 11/04/2014

            Now your talking!

  2. Fishwrapper 11/04/2014

    Really? That hogwash is the best they can do? Even the carved-in-stone version is a bit wordy – and I’ll bet the stonecutter thought so too, but for that he was paid by the letter…

    Does everyone on the Board think KISS is only a (bad) rock and/or roll band?

    And Connie Ballmer – no, it can’t be confused with OSU’s, since OSU clearly incorporates its land-, sea-, space-, and solar-grant mission into its mission statement.

    Curry is on the right track: Don’t aspire – be. The first paragraph should be all that’s needed. If you have to follow that with a chapter about your purpose, it’s too late.

  3. observer 11/04/2014

    “Miss State” is exactly right. This sounds weak and scattered.
    “We work at a human scale to generate big ideas”…? Puhleese—great TV slogan for the PAC 12 commercials but, generally, a worthless and unnecessary comment. Besides, what other scale could we humans work on?

    How about taking the current statement bullet points and editing them to be clear, direct and succinct. An example–refining and combining the first two bullet points:

    Recognizing that knowledge is the fundamental wealth of civilization, the university strives to enrich the public that sustains it through:
    — Commitment to the development of communication, logic, creativity, integrity, innovation and critical thinking.

    People who actually read mission statements should already know what that statement means and don’t need definitions included.

    Stop stating the obvious like the third bullet point:
    “A recognition that research, both basic and applied, is essential to the intellectual health of the university, as well as to the enrichment of the lives of Oregonians, by energizing the state’s economic, cultural, and political structure”

    If you want to educate the average Oregonian about the necessity for institutions of higher learning at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, then create a separate ad campaign to do that exact thing, highlighting the unique qualites of each campus. The Mission Statement shouldn’t be an advertisement.

    How hard can this be?

    • that effing Dog again 11/04/2014

      we could just rename the Miss State to the Marketing Statement

    • Three-Toed Sloth 11/04/2014

      Now, now…we’ve got to distinguish ourselves from OSU and PSU, which institutions work at a super-human scale to generate big ideas.

  4. Anonymous 11/04/2014

    “Trustee Kurt Willcox said the draft completed late Sunday mentions teaching students to think critically, logically and creatively, but it doesn’t mention preparing them for a job.”

    I’m okay with that.

  5. Sun Tzu 11/04/2014

    The current mission statement is the best public statement ever issued by the University. Why? Because it was written by faculty, not administrators long removed from academic life. Perhaps Ms Altmann can explain how her crystal clear prose as a faculty member magically transformed into turgid pablum when given a 100% salary raise. Does the BOT actually believe the draft mission statement is inspiring?

  6. hmm 11/08/2014

    “No reason to pick on Ms Altmann, who writes as well as she ever did. She probably didn’t write this mission statement, just got left holding the bag.”

    The sad indictment for a newbie admin who accepted a raise to hold the bag.

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