Our purposes as a college are to foster rigorous and independent scholarship by our faculty and their students, encourage free inquiry in the pursuit of truth, and offer our objective findings to the larger community. Northland College fulfills these purposes by safeguarding scientific inquiry and intellectual discourse so all voices can be heard in the pursuit of a deeper truth.
Our purpose as a liberal arts college is to teach students how to think, not what to think. Our purpose as a liberal arts college with a unique focus on the environment and sustainability is to teach students how to apply the great insights of the arts and sciences to the specific challenges faced by our local communities, region, and world.
We hold the conviction that our unique approach to liberal arts education provides our students and other interested individuals with the understanding of complex systems, holistic analysis, and critical thinking required to create the pathways of healing and enlightened stewardship necessary for our security and survival.
As an institution of higher education, Northland College actively engages in both examination and discourse regarding the contentious and difficult issues of our society today, tomorrow, and in the past. We encourage our faculty, students, and other interested individuals to actively and productively engage in the issues that confront us.
Northland College provides a safe, trusted, and respected venue for facts to be revealed and where ideas can be fully explored, researched, vetted, and aired. We believe it is imperative for the College to protect the spirit of objectivity in order to provide a trusted, impartial institution that can gather and convene scholars, community members, and public and private leaders as we examine the complex dimensions of a given problem. In so doing, Northland College allows space for respectful, civil disagreement as our local communities and a broader society seek common ground on the contentious issues of our day.
Northland College also honors the essential virtues of critical and liberal thought as well as civil discourse as necessary to the pursuit of the common good. That includes respect for differences, upholding the integrity and value of each person, and the free, honest, and civil exchange of ideas in pursuit of the truth. To that end we reject the destruction of property, the desire to harm, the use of coercion or threats either real or implied, profanity, violence, or the use of force in place of the hard work of civil discourse, good faith negotiation, and the use of democratic processes. We firmly believe that coercion and threats are unacceptable because they constitute bullying. We expect these standards of our own Northland community and we call for them to be used among all parties in the larger community.