Mission of the University
Old Dominion University, located in the City of Norfolk in the metropolitan Hampton Roads region of coastal Virginia, is a dynamic public research institution that serves its students and enriches the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation and the world through rigorous academic programs, strategic partnerships, and active civic engagement.
Old Dominion University is located in Hampton Roads, one of the world's major
seaports. Since the early seventeenth century, Hampton Roads has been the state's
gateway to the rest of the world and the world's gateway to Virginia in commerce
and industry, in recreation and culture, and in national security. Now a complex
of seven major cities, it is a microcosm of the opportunities and challenges
of contemporary urban America. It is also a major center for research and development
and a home for extensive scientific and technological activities in marine
science, aerospace, ship design and construction, advanced electronics, and
The university takes its unique character from Hampton Roads as it provides
leadership to the state and nation in teaching, research, and service. Thus
the university has a special mission for the Commonwealth in commerce, and
in international affairs and cultures. It has a significant commitment in science,
engineering and technology, particularly in fields of major importance to the
region. As a metropolitan institution, the university places particular emphasis
upon urban issues, including education and health care, and upon fine and performing
As one of America's major ports, Hampton Roads is the locus of national and
international military commands, and the home of a culturally diverse population.
The university therefore has natural strengths in activities having international
outreach. Faculty members in such fields as business, economics, international
studies, geography and the sciences strive to design curricula, teach courses,
and encourage foreign exchanges that enhance the university's role as Virginia's
The Hampton Roads scientific environment provides special opportunities for
science and engineering faculty to emphasize research and graduate programs
in such fields as marine science, aerospace, and advanced electronics. Global
ocean studies and cooperative research at NASA receive particular attention,
as university researchers collaborate with U.S. and foreign engineers and scientists.
Urban issues are addressed by programs in public administration, education,
the social sciences, and the health professions. The richness of Hampton Roads'
artistic life gives great vitality to the university's programs in the visual
arts, music, theater, and dance.
Old Dominion University serves the needs of several internal and external
constituents with its resources. These include: current and prospective students
seeking undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs; business
and industry; government agencies at all levels; the military; research organizations;
and the community at large regionally, state-wide, nationally, and internationally.
These constituencies are discussed in greater detail in the following paragraphs.
Old Dominion University offers a wide array of undergraduate programs, all
of which meet national standards of excellence. Every Old Dominion undergraduate
student follows a general education program that is designed to develop the
intellectual skills of critical thinking and problem solving and to encompass
the breadth of understanding needed for personal growth and achievement and
for responsible citizenship. This general education program places special
emphasis upon appreciation of the arts and upon understanding the perspectives
of women, minorities, and non Western cultures. Each undergraduate chooses
a major program in the liberal arts or sciences or in a technological or professional
Old Dominion University's graduate offerings are focused on society's need
for advanced professional education and on specialized programs at the master's
and doctoral levels for which the institution is prepared through unusual strength
of faculty or special geographic advantages. All graduate programs meet national
standards of excellence.
As a national leader in the field of technology-delivered distance learning,
the university strives to enhance the quality of the educational experience,
wherever education is delivered, by applying emerging technologies; it also
supports research to explore the impact of these technologies on the teaching-learning
process. By utilizing these technologies and by partnering with institutions
of higher education, corporations, and governmental entities, the university
is able to provide undergraduate and graduate degree programs to students across
time and geographic boundaries.
Because of its commitment to Hampton Roads and its emphasis on creative innovation,
Old Dominion University offers life long learning opportunities through credit
and non credit courses and brings educational services and programs to the
people of Hampton Roads at several off campus centers. The university has a
responsibility to serve the many members of the military services and their
families. The military forms a unique combination of national and international
constituents because they are from other locales in the United States and are
looking to become, among other things, internationally capable in an international
As a center of learning, Old Dominion University is committed to the principle
of free inquiry. The university faculty of distinguished teacher scholars seek
to pass on the best in academic tradition while establishing themselves at
the forefront of discovery and creativity. As partners in the development of
the university's future, the faculty enjoy full academic freedom and have a
recognized role in the decision making process of the university. Mindful of
present and future needs for a multicultural academic climate, the university
deems recruitment and retention of minority and women faculty members and staff
to be essential.
The university is committed to providing the highest quality instruction
to all of its students. Teaching excellence is encouraged through faculty development
programs and appropriate recognition of superior instruction.
The discovery of new knowledge through research and creative endeavor is
a central function of Old Dominion University, which values and supports faculty
participation in the discovery, synthesis, application and creation of new
knowledge and art forms. The institution shall promote and preserve excellence
in basic and applied research as a Carnegie Foundation Doctoral Research-Extensive
University which is a key production and coordination force in technology development.
The university encourages the involvement of its faculty and staff in community
service. The enrichment of the lives of students and residents of Hampton Roads
is fostered through university sponsored cultural activities, fine and performing
arts events, and intercollegiate athletics. In addition, through applied research,
consulting, and other activities, the university plays a prominent role in
the development of local business and industry and serves as a resource to
government agencies and both public and private educational institutions.
The university seeks in its student body a diversity of age, gender, ethnic,
religious, social, and national backgrounds. It actively recruits American
minority students along with students from other countries worldwide in such
numbers as to have their presence make a discernible impact upon the university's
educational processes. Old Dominion recognizes its mandate to serve both the
academically gifted and those who have the potential for academic success despite
educational, social, or economic disadvantages.
Extracurricular activities and experiences are offered that challenge students
to develop a personal system of values, to think and act autonomously, to achieve
physical competence, and to establish a sense of their own identity. Other
services help students meet educational, personal, and health needs.
Old Dominion University depends on its alumni for advice, leadership, and
support. In close collaboration with the university, the Alumni Association
provides to former students opportunities to continue their participation in
various aspects of university life, to advance their personal and professional
development, and to sustain communication and strengthen bonds with their alma
mater and fellow alumni.
To evaluate its accomplishments against its goals, a continuing process of
systematic assessment is given high priority by the university. Information
gained from such efforts is utilized to ensure the highest possible quality
for all university programs. The Board of Visitors will conduct a periodic
review of the university's mission and major goals in conjunction with representatives
of the major university constituencies. The review will ensure that the mission
clearly identifies the university's unique role in Virginia's public higher
education system and assures that the university is focusing its resources
to be the best that it can be in that role to achieve its mission and accomplish
the major goals.
| ||- Adopted by the Board of Visitors June 10, 1971||Revised April 15, 1999|
| ||Revised June 18, 1987||Revised June 14, 2002|
| ||Revised January 17, 1989||Revised April 8, 2010 |