The development process of the new mission statement
The strategic reorientation of the mdw by the Rectorate appointed in October 2015 made it necessary to update the mdw mission statement – the expression of the institutional self-image. The aim was not only to map current developments and visions for the future and thus provide orientation, but also through the mission statement to create a content-related connecting point for the intra-university strategies and projects currently being developed, for example in the areas of diversity and internationalisation.
The participatory process for developing the new mission statement was set up in November 2017 by a mission-statement steering group together with the consultants from the Integrated Consulting Group (ICG). Rector Ulrike Sych describes this as follows: “The process should reflect what the university stands for: active participation, communication and listening as equals, joint analysis and discussion of values, attitudes and visions.”
The thematic areas were worked out based on strategic documents such as the 2019–24 Development Plan. The draft mission statement was prepared in several full-day and half-day workshops between January and March 2018 with the cooperation of a core working group, the members of the Rectorate and leading staff from teaching and administration. The final text and its inclusion in the mdw statutes was decided by the Rectorate and subsequently by the Senate on 20 June 2018.
At the centre of the mission statement is the top international position of the university in all areas and the best possible education and training for students. Student-centred teaching and learning, the promotion of individual skills and scope for development as well as excellent individual support are just a few of the many components that guarantee the quality of training and work at the mdw. A clear stance on equal treatment, diversity and democratic values is just as important as a forward-looking approach paired with an awareness of tradition. The continuation of an intra-university interdisciplinary dialogue and social effectiveness through events and projects will be further action-inspiring themes in the coming years.
The process of creating the mission statement can be seen as an example of the new communication culture at the mdw: similar to the 2019–24 Development Plan, it was possible to work together constructively across disciplinary boundaries and to develop a shared idea of what the university stands for and should stand for in the future. The task set for the core working group and all the participants was demanding: major statements had to be presented on one page in a self-explanatory way.
The Rectorate would like to thank all the participants for their critical commitment, the exciting discussions and – despite numerous feedback loops – the great care taken by all those involved in order to decide on the appropriate wording.
Steering group: Ulrike Sych / Rector; Gerda Müller / Vice Rector for Organizational Development, Gender & Diversity; Julia Kordina / Office of the Rector (Project Management).
Core working group: Wolfgang Aichinger / Department Directors’ Conference; Therese Kaufmann / Research Support; Gerhild Kronberger / Quality Management; Johannes Meissl / Senate; Jakob Schlögl, Mathias Schmidhammer / Students’ Union at the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna; Angelika Silberbauer / Working Group on Equal Opportunities; Karl-Gerhard Straßl / Organizational Law and Appointment Management for University Professors; Margit Sturm / Events and International Relations.