What is the difference between a "Mission" and a "Mission Statement?"
Most organizations understand their "mission" as representing their central purpose and values--it is the spirit of an organization and is sometimes hard to define. A mission statement attempts to articulate what is important to an organization in formal language; the resulting document is designed to communicate and reinforce the organization's purpose and values. After reading our mission statement at Niagara University and exploring the four critical elements of our mission, you should be able to answer these two questions: 1) What does Niagara University do? 2) What is important to Niagara University?
Isn't "Mission" the religious element of the University that stands separate from the day-to-day educational work of the organization?
No, although it is true that the term often has religious significance as many schools were founded by religious groups or orders as a way to help educate people and promote faith - this was their mission. The Vincentians are certainly very mission oriented, in fact the order's official name is "The Congregation of the Mission." However, the term mission is also widely used in business and other secular organizations that need to focus their resources on what is really important. Mission, as used within this website, should be viewed in its broadest possible context. Think of it in a plural context - our missions: Educational, Vincentian, and Catholic, all of which lead us to focus on the individual person - as student, employee, or community member in need.
I'm not Catholic, so why is the Mission important to me?
Niagara University welcomes people from all religious backgrounds as students and employees. As non-Catholics, members of our university community are able to embrace many important aspects of our mission, including educational excellence, service to the poor, social justice, ethics, and respect for the individual person.
With many priests on campus, isn't mission their responsibility?
Certainly, the Vincentian priests on campus are especially well informed about the Catholic and Vincentian nature of our mission. They also play many important and specific roles in supporting the mission of the university. However, maintaining the mission and spirit of Niagara University is the responsibility of all employees and students.