Mission statements are important. Even an actions-not-words guy like me believes that. A mission statement captures concisely and precisely what you value. If you don’t have a mission guiding you, it’s a lot harder to coordinate your actions to achieve something that is meaningful to you and to those you want to serve.
The Mission of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Lewis University is summarized in three words: “Innovation. Integrity. Service.” It is engraved in binary on a wall plaque in our hallway. This simple trio of words has real meaning for us:
- Innovation: As Computer Scientists and Mathematicians, our job is to look for ways to solve problems that have not yet been solved, to invent technologies and tools that have not yet been envisioned, to explore theoretical fields that have not yet been surveyed. As innovators, we create new knowledge, devise new conveniences, and create a better world one discovery at a time.
- Integrity: We take our responsibility as creators and caretakers of high-tech innovations seriously. The technologies we create and master can be used for destructive ends, particularly in the cyber security area. We always choose to use them for good.
- Service: We use technology to share new truths, to clarify rather than obfuscate, to share our knowledge and findings openly rather than attempt to create monopolies from them. We bridge gaps rather than create them. We consistently look for ways to help the less fortunate. We apply our talents and knowledge to help everyone do their jobs more effectively. We seek out opportunities to educate, entertain, and enable, not for our own betterment, but for that of others.
Our department prepares innovative problem solvers committed to service. That’s a lofty charge, but I think we do it well. An empty mission statement simply becomes an albatross of empty words. Ours inspires us.