Episode #177

When Your Academic Mission Statement Is Too Broad It’s Time To Do This

Today’s episode highlights frequently asked questions or problems that we find our clients have while they are trying to write their academic mission statement. 


Academic mission statements are tools to help focus your career. There are ways to integrate multifaceted interests and talents while maintaining a cohesive vision for your work. The academic mission statement is an essential part of our work in the Navigate program. This work is the key to overcoming cycles of burnout and frustration. 


So, if you are someone who is multi-talented and has a broad range of interests and ideas, and is unsure how to create a cohesive academic brand message, this episode is for you! Listen in as I share my skills, strategies, and goals method to develop a clear academic mission statement that aligns with what you want to accomplish in academia. 


Defining an Academic Mission Statement

Writing an academic mission statement serves as the guiding light for achieving your career goals. It narrows your research focus, publication pipeline, and what you choose to commit your time to so that every effort aligns with what you want to accomplish as an academic. 


When you have an academic mission statement that is focused, it functions to help you cull things that don’t align with your academic mission. As a result, you have more time to leverage tasks that are essential to your growth and attainment of career goals.  

Multifaceted Talent

Many clients resist the idea of establishing a clearly defined academic mission statement because it limits their research and publications to a narrow focus. It’s normal for people in academia to be multifaceted. They have a lot of different interests and lines of research that they want to pursue. However, this ambition is usually at odds with the cohesive vision committees at universities look for when deciding on promotions. 


Having multiple areas of interest is excellent. It is what makes you an inquisitive scholar. However, if you are in the pre-promotion season of your career, holding on to your multi-passionate projects will backfire. You are going to work yourself into the ground and burn out. That is why following this skills, strategies, and goals method is so important.

Skills, Strategies, & Goals

The academic mission statement is a tool to protect your time and reach your goals. 

Strategy: Create an academic mission statement. These sentences guide your focus and help with decision-making about which tasks are valuable enough to give your time to. 

Skills: Align tasks and obligations with your academic mission statement. Learning to say no is a powerful way to protect your time!

Goals: How do you want to show up as an academic? What is the ultimate goal you want to accomplish in your career?


“The academic mission statement is a tool or a strategy for career focusing. Once you do that you get clarity around what you want for your career then you can build the skills to cull things away to align with your mission statement. All of that is going to help you meet your goal.”


“One of the things that is difficult for our clients is that they are multi-talented. They have many different interests and have lots of possible things they could do. Or maybe they’ve even started several different lines of research over the course of their career so they don’t have a completely cohesive academic brand or message or line of research.”


We’re receiving applications for our next cohort of Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap®. Check out the program details and start your application process here.




  1. Our 12-week Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap® program helps tenure-track womxn and nonbinary professors to publish their backlog of papers so that their voice can have the impact they know is possible. Apply here!
  2. Cathy’s book, Making Time to Write: How to Resist the Patriarchy and Take Control of Your Academic Career Through Writing is available in print! Learn how to build your career around your writing practice while shattering the myths of writing every day, accountability, and motivation, doing mindset work that’s going to reshape your writing, and changing academic culture one womxn and nonbinary professor at a time. Get your print copy today or order it for a friend here!
  3. Want to train with us for free on your campus? Now you can when you recommend our Scholar’s Voice Faculty Retreats to a decision-maker on your campus! Download the brochure with the retreat curriculum and both in-person and online retreat options here.






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