Review of Communication Research

ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION                                                                                                 

Title & Author

REVIEWING AND REVISING THE INSTITUTIONAL VISION OF U.S. HIGHER EDUCATION

Robert Abelman

Cleveland State University, OH, USA

Highlights

• Institutional mission and vision statements have become ubiquitous in higher education, with strategic planning, recruitment initiatives and student support services predicated on their formulation.

• More than 80% of all colleges and universities have made major revisions in their declarations of institutional vision within the last decade.

• A widely diffused, generally accepted and readily adopted institutional vision must contain language that unifies members of the institution (Shared); is unambiguous (Clarity); generates enthusiasm (Compelling); articulates what is to be gained (Relative Advantage); is robustly expressed (Complexity); and presents outcomes that are pragmatic (Observability).

• The rhetorical flavor of institutional vision varies in accordance with institutional culture and the distinct challenges faced by these types of colleges and universities.

• Institutional size, region, or highest degree granted has little impact on the rhetorical f lavor of institutional vision.

• The language contained in vision statements and in mission statements is significantly different.

• The highest scoring institutional visions on each of the rhetorical attributes are: Tribal community colleges (Shared; Observability); Catholic immersion schools (Clear; Complex; Relative advantage); and Evangelical schools (Compelling).

• The lowest scoring institutional visions on each of the rhetorical attributes are: HBCUs (Shared); Tribal community colleges (Relative advantage); Catholic schools (Observability); Secular 4-year public schools (Clear); Evangelical schools (Complex); and “Christ-Centered” schools (Compelling).

Abstract

This article reviews the literature on the institutional vision of higher education in the United States – that is, the philosophical template through which colleges and universities define and communicate the kinds of human beings they are attempting to cultivate. Key linguistic components found to constitute a well conceived, viable, and easily diffused institutional vision are identified and significant issues, controversies and problems associated with these guiding, governing, and self-promotional mission and vision statements are examined. Particular attention is given to those types of schools recognized in the literature as the most maligned in the academic community or misrepresented in the popular press. A comparative analysis revisits the data of a subset of these investigations with the intention of generating greater insight into the institutional vision of higher education and offering a prescription for how these statements can better serve their institutions.

Content

THE VERBIAGE OF INSTITUTIONAL VISION

INSTITUTION TYPES : ISSUES , CONTROVERSIES , PROBLEMS

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Religious Colleges and Universities

Catholic Colleges and Universities.

Catholic Immersion Schools.

Evangelical Colleges and Universities.

The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).

For-Profit Institutions

Community Colleges.

Tribal Community Colleges.

SUMMARY AND RESULTANT RESEARCH QUESTIONS

METHODOLOGY

Unit of Analysis

Computerized Content Analysis

Statistical Analysis

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Table 1. Shared Mean DICTION Scores

Table 2. Clarity Mean DICTION Scores

Table 3. Compelling Mean DICTION Scores

Table 4. Complexity Mean DICTION Scores

Table 5. Relative Advantage Mean DICTION Scores

Table 6. Observability Mean DICTION Scores

CONCLUSIONS

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

REFERENCES

APPENDIX A. STUDIES AND SAMPLES INCLUDED IN THE COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

APPENDIX B. GENERAL COMPARATIVE SAMPLE INSTITUTIONS

APPENDIX C. DICTION CONSTRUCTS , FORMULAS , AND SAMPLE WORDS

APPENDIX D. INSTITUTIONAL VISION OF BARBER-SCOTIA COLLEGE

APPENDIX E. INSTITUTIONAL VISION OF LOYOLA UNIVERSIT Y OF CHICAGO

COPYRIGHTS AND REPOSITORIES

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Reviewing and Revising the Institutional Vision of U.S. Higher Education

Robert Abelman

 

Keywords: Institutional Vision; Mission Statement; Vision Statement; Organizational Communication; Strategic Planning; Institutional Rhetoric; Philosophical Template; Higher Education; Branding; Language of Institutions

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How to cite

Abelman, R. (2014). Reviewing and Revising the Institutional Vision of U.S. Higher Education. Review of Communication Research, 2(1), 30-67. doi: 10.12840/issn.2255-4165.2014.02.01.002

Keywords

Institutional Vision, Mission Statement, Vision Statement, Organizational Communication, Strategic Planning, Institutional Rhetoric, Philosophical Template, Higher Education, Branding, Language of Institutions

Repositories

Repositories where you can find this article

Internet Archive (Community Texts) @ https://archive.org/details/texts

Academia.edu @ http://independent.academia.edu/ReviewofCommunicationResearch

Social Science Open Access Repository @ http://www.ssoar.info/en/home.html

About the Author

Robert I Abelman, Cleveland State University College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences , School of Communication, 2121 Euclid Ave. MU 212, Cleveland, OH 44115 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

http://facultyprofile.csuohio.edu/csufacultyprofile/detail.cfm?FacultyID=R_ABELMAN

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