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Planning for Higher Education Journal

June 1, 2005

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The Endless Good Argument: The Adaptation of Mission at Two Liberal Arts Colleges

A meaningful institutional purpose does not just pop into existence. It must be constructed, with reference both to core values and to changing market or demographic conditions. This article examines three important moments in the history of two different institutions to better understand the development of such a process and explore how a sense of mission and the core values can survive over time, despite inevitable challenges.

From Volume 33 Number 4 | June–August 2005

Abstract: Institutional mission influences college and university decision making by providing a shared sense of understanding about core values and aspirations. For institutions to maintain the benefits of having a clear mission, they must periodically revise and redefine the institutional purpose. This article compares the changing missions of two liberal arts colleges and reveals striking commonalities in how this process is accomplished. It also describes several factors that influence mission change.

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