A goal is often a short-term idea that is accomplished with tangible results. A mission, however, has an aura of a journey, a long-term or difficult pursuit through challenging physical or political terrain. Mission statements are typically developed with lofty words that capture the intangible nature of ideals and values.
Colleges and universities are no exception when it comes to developing mission statements. Consider the mission of the University of Miami:
At the University of Miami, the mission is conveyed in the form of a common purpose: “At the U, we transform lives through teaching, research, and service” (University of Miami, n.d.). This is followed by a clearly outlined set of values and behaviors to which students, faculty, and other personnel are expected to abide.
According to the Knight Commission and other organizations, athletic departments in institutions of higher learning often struggle to promote behaviors that are in line with these mission statements. Often, the issue is academics spending versus athletic spending: Which is more in line with promoting the application of knowledge, for example? When gaps occur between the missions of the institution as a whole and the athletic department, it may put one or both entities at risk of an ethical breach.
As a sport administrator, you will need to understand the importance of aligning your athletic organization with the mission and values of the organization of the whole. That is the focus of this Discussion.
University of Miami. (n.d.). Building a better U together: Common purpose, values, and behaviors.
Select a university and research their website. Find the mission or vision statement for the university in general and for the athletic department specifically. Similar to a school of education or any other department, the athletic department should have its own mission statement.
Choose one ethical issue related to college sports (e.g., coach’s salaries, cost of building facilities, commercialization)
Post the institution you chose as well as the mission, vision, or values of both the institution in general and the athletic department. Then, explain whether the mission statements of the university (general and athletics) are in alignment with each other. What are the similarities and disparities, if any? Finally, for the ethical issue you chose, explain how that issue might put either or both mission, vision, or values statements at risk.