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Mission Creep

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Mission Creep

The dictionary definition of mission creep is “A gradual shift in objectives during the course of a military campaign, often resulting in an unplanned long-term commitment” (Oxford Dictionaries 2015).


Incessant attempts by regional and/or teaching-focused colleges and universities to revise their missions and assume a more research focused orientation in hopes of climbing the institutional ladder and enhancing their prestige have been dubbed “mission creep.” (Gonzales 2013, 179)

Despite the benefits that are often attributed to academic differentiation, regional teaching and/or comprehensive universities have been retooling their missions and practices in hopes of achieving national research prestige and status. (Gonzales 2012, 337).

David Longanecker claims that such mission creep has led to higher administrative costs, inefficient program replication, elimination of vocational programs, and a reduction in higher education accessibility. (Longanecker 2008).

Gonzales, Leslie. “Faculty Sensemaking and Mission Creep: Interrogating Institutionalized Ways of Knowing and Doing Legitimacy.” The Review of Higher Education 36, no. 2 (2013): 179-209.

Gonzales, Leslie. “Responding to Mission CreeP: faculty members as cosmopolitan agents.” Higher Education 64 (3) (2012): (337-353).

Longanecker, D. (2008). Mission differentiation vs. mission creep: Higher education’s battle between creationism and evolution. National conference of state legislators. Retrieved from http://www.wiche. edu/files/gwypf/dal_mission.pdf

Oxford Dictionaries. “Disruptive Innovation.” Accessed June 27, 2015,

Page Created by: James Ban on 6 July 2015.


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