DePaul revises and adopts new mission statement


Bianca Cseke | The DePaulia

DePaul University Lincoln Park campus.

On March 29, DePaul Newsline announced that the university has revised its mission statement. 

After 35 years, DePaul has fully revised its mission statement,” Rev. Guillermo Campuzano wrote in the article. “Through a 10-month participatory, historically grounded, yet forward-thinking process, the university gathered feedback from more than 600 community members. The updated statement is relevant and reflects the DePaul we know and the DePaul of which we dream.” 

Invitations to review the statement went out previously through Newsline and on social media during the fall quarter. Various colleges, departments, student groups, administrative offices and councils invited the DePaul community to participate in the process as well. 

Among the different student groups involved in the revision processes was the Student Government Association (SGA). SGA was invited to participate in a “mission dialogue series” that allowed members to go through the old statement, make suggestions, contribute ideas and provide feedback. 

They [DePaul as an institution] revised in the past and in the past they did not include SGA,” said Wesley Janicki, SGA’s executive vice president of operations. “This was the first time they really included SGA and student input and trying to get broader people interested in working and putting their input into the mission.” 

Janicki shared with The DePaulia that there were some aspects of the revision process he disagreed with.

“They [the university] sent a survey to the Board of Trustees and what they wanted the mission to look like and I don’t necessarily think the Board of trustees represents the DePaul community,” Janicki said. “We wanted to give more input — at that mission dialogue session we did, we advocated for us to give more input because we were like, ‘hey, why does the Board of Trustees do all of this stuff? We’re the students, why don’t we have more impact on it?’” 

On March 4, DePaul’s Board of Trustees reviewed and unanimously approved the new statement and the supporting document, the article stated. 

Campuzano told The DePaulia the new statement comes after the Board of Trustees updated the bylaws to include a review of the university mission statement every five years and that nothing was wrong with the old statement.  

“The prior statement had been essentially written in the mid-’80s, with minor changes since then. Given the changing times of today and the evolution of DePaul to meet the current needs of the day, the university sent a clear message that the statement was in need of a revision and not just minor edits,” Campuzano said. 

Janicki said that the old statement contained a lot of old Latin phrases that he felt wouldn’t catch students’ interests and had to be discarded in the revised one. 

The goal that we were told is that we wanted to make a mission that was more outwardly facing that students, faculty and everyone at DePaul would engage with more, and I think that removing those things that were weird Latin phrases was a good way to update it,” Janicki said.

Attached with the new statement, DePaul also provided a summarization of values that emerged through the review process in a supporting document titled, “Distinguishing Characteristics, Core Values and Commitments.” 

“Compared to the old [statement], this one is relatively short, which is useful [for] marketing and whatnot,” Janicki said. “But I feel like it’s losing a lot of the components that were in the old one that were super vital –– shortness doesn’t necessarily make it better. If it’s so vague, it’s hard to hold them accountable too, isn’t it? Obviously missions are aspiratory in general, but I feel like it’s a little too vague in some parts.” 

Campuzano told The DePaulia that the hope for this new mission statement is that it’ll be a new source of inspiration for the DePaul community. 

The expectation of the administration and of our division is that the mission statement will be a permanent source of inspiration that can shed light on all the documents and guiding principles that one finds throughout DePaul — in colleges, in various areas, and even within classes,” Campuzano said. 

 “I think DePaul is trying to inspire students to really care more, I think so, in some regards at the very least,” Janicki said. For Janicki, the mention of sustainability and environmental matters in the new statement made him feel like the university was taking on issues that students care about.

Campuzano also wrote that great care was given in the revision when considering the inclusion of certain words and Vincentian legacies. “Participants insisted DePaul commit to addressing the great societal challenges of our day, as both an educational institution connected to local and global communities as well as through our graduates, whom we hope will be change agents for greater good and successful professionals,” the article read.