Role and Mission
The following role and mission statement for the university was adopted by the Oakland University Board of Trustees on July 21, 1982, and amended by the Board of Trustees on March 28, 2012. It emphasizes four essential ingredients for the direction of the university: excellent and relevant instruction; high-quality basic and applied research and scholarship; responsive and effective public and community service; and a comprehensive schedule of student development activities.
As a state-supported institution of higher education, Oakland University has a three-fold mission. It offers instructional programs of high quality that lead to degrees at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels, as well as programs in continuing education; it advances knowledge and promotes the arts through research, scholarship, and creative activity; and it renders significant public service. In all its activities, the university strives to exemplify educational leadership in a diverse and inclusive environment.
Oakland University provides rigorous educational programs. A strong core of liberal arts is the basis on which undergraduates develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes essential for successful living and active, concerned citizenship. A variety of majors and specialized curricula prepare students for post-baccalaureate education, professional schools, or careers directly after graduation. Each program provides a variety of courses and curricular experiences to ensure an enriched life along with superior career preparation or enhancement.
The university offers master’s programs that meet demonstrable needs of Michigan residents and that maintain excellence. Doctoral programs are offered that are innovative and serve needs that are not adequately met elsewhere in the state.
Offerings in continuing education provide Michigan residents with high-quality coursework for professional development and personal enrichment.
Oakland University is selective in its admission standards and seeks both traditional and nontraditional students, ensuring equal opportunity to all who can profit from its offerings. While serving principally Michigan residents, it welcomes qualified applicants from other states and countries. A special effort is made to locate and admit disadvantaged students with strong potential for academic success and to provide the support conducive to the realization of that potential. The faculty and staff cooperate with nearby community colleges to ensure that their students who seek to transfer to Oakland University are well prepared for work at a senior college. In recruiting and admitting students, enrollments are not permitted to exceed numbers consistent with preserving the high quality of instruction.
The university strives to remain current and relevant through an adequate program of continuing faculty development and the exploration of innovative schedules, methods and curricular design in keeping with the various needs of its diverse students, many of whom commute, work or are older than the traditional college-age student.
Oakland University offers, and will continue to offer, only those programs for which adequate resources and well-prepared faculty are available and for which a demonstrable need is expressed through the attraction of qualified students.
Research and Scholarship
Oakland University assumes an obligation to advance knowledge through the research and scholarship of its faculty and students. The university’s research and scholarship mission takes expression in a variety of forms ranging from basic studies on the nature of things to applied research directed at particular problems to contributions to literature and the arts. Within its means, the university provides internal financial support for research and scholarship. Simultaneously, it pursues with vigor external sources of support. Research institutes, financed primarily by outside grants, make an important contribution to this mission.
In addition to their intrinsic value, research and scholarship reinforce the instructional mission of the university. Wherever possible, students are involved in research projects, and the results of research and scholarship are integrated into related courses of instruction.
In carrying out its research and scholarship mission, the university seeks especially to be responsive to the needs of Michigan, particularly of the populous southeastern sector. Application of research and scholarship to problems and concerns of the state’s business and industry and to its scientific, educational, governmental and health and human-service agencies serves also to reinforce the public service role of the university.
Oakland University serves its constituents through a philosophy and program of public service that is consistent with its instructional and research missions. It cooperates with businesses, governmental units, community groups and other organizations on research, technical development and problem-solving enterprises in an attempt to apply the expertise of the university to the issues of society in general or the region in particular so as to further enhance the quality of life in the service areas of the university. It attempts to maintain the degree of flexibility necessary to respond with innovative instruction, research and other service to rapidly changing needs. It makes its facilities available for a multitude of activities of agencies and community groups whose purposes are compatible with the mission of the university. It provides access to its programs and campus, insofar as is consistent with the role and scope of the institution, for the recreational and physical enrichment of area citizens. Cultural enrichment is provided for the community through the Meadow Brook enterprises, on- and off-campus presentations by faculty and students, and other campus events. The university aims to provide a model of socially responsible decision-making and ethical institutional behavior, recognizing that institutional strength derives from an effective interaction with the institution’s diverse external environs.
In direct support of its academic mission, Oakland University provides basic services and experiences that integrate cognitive learning with the personal growth of the individual student in the emotional, social, physical, cultural, ethical and interpersonal domains. In so doing, the university seeks to facilitate the development of those personal skills that will contribute to informed decision making and productive citizenship. This objective is accomplished through a variety of student enterprises, including campus organizations, athletics and other sponsored activities and events.
Key to its achievement is the provision of a governance system in which students play a meaningful role in the institutional decision-making processes.
The university takes particular cognizance of its considerable enrollment of older and nontraditional students and provides advising, counseling and other services of special value to such students in effecting career changes and developing additional personal competencies. Through the maintenance of complementary academic and extracurricular environments, Oakland University assists students in the realization that life is a continuum of growth, change and adaptation and provides them with the skills essential to the achievement of their fullest potential.