Purpose: The central purpose of the University of Virginia is to enrich the mind by stimulating and sustaining a spirit of free inquiry directed to understanding the nature of the universe and the role of mankind in it. Activities designed to quicken, discipline, and enlarge the intellectual and creative capacities, as well as the aesthetic and ethical awareness, of the members of the University and to record, preserve, and disseminate the results of intellectual discovery and creative endeavor serve this purpose. In fulfilling it, the University places the highest priority on achieving eminence as a center of higher learning.
Goals: The University of Virginia seeks to achieve its central purpose through the pursuit of the following specific goals:
- To offer instruction of the highest quality to undergraduates from all walks of life, not only by transmitting established knowledge and skills, but by fostering in students the habits of mind and character required to develop a generous receptivity to new ideas, from whatever source; a disposition for applying the most rigorous criticism to all ideas and institutions, whether old or new; an ability to test hypotheses and re-interpret human experience; and a desire to engage in a lifetime of learning.
- To sustain liberal education as the central intellectual concern of the University, not only in the curricula of the College of Arts and Sciences, but also as a foundation for the professional undergraduate programs.
- To educate men and women for the professions in certain undergraduate and in graduate programs leading to degrees in the schools of Architecture, Business Administration, Commerce, Continuing and Professional Studies, Education, Engineering and Applied Science, Law, Medicine, and Nursing.
- To lead in the advancement and application of knowledge through graduate study and research and to disseminate the results among scholars and the general public.
- To attract and retain eminent faculty in order to provide the highest quality of instruction and leadership in research.
- To seek the ablest and most promising students, within the Commonwealth and without; and, in keeping with the intentions of Thomas Jefferson, to attend to their total development and well-being; and to provide appropriate intellectual, athletic, and social programs.
- To strive for diversity in the student body and in the faculty and to promote international exchange of scholars and students.
- To provide for students and faculty an atmosphere conducive to fellowship and understanding and to their constructive participation in the affairs of the University and the community at large.
- To expand educational opportunities for persons with special challenges such as minority status, physical disability, ethnic heritage, or insufficient financial resources.
- To engage in research in the medical sciences and to provide innovative leadership in health care and medical services in the local community, the Commonwealth, and the nation.
- To offer to the local community, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the nation the various kinds of public service and intellectual and cultural activities which are consonant with the purposes of the University.
- To provide continuing education programs of the highest quality to the Commonwealth and the nation.
- To cooperate with and assist other colleges, educational institutions, and agencies, especially in the Commonwealth of Virginia, by making available to them the facilities of the University and the experience and counsel of its members so as to contribute to education in the Commonwealth and beyond.
- To establish new programs, schools, and degrees, and to undertake such research as the needs of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation may require.