OU’s mission is to contribute to global society through non-traditional higher learning in advancing human wellness, wealth, wisdom and worth (4Ws) at an international level of distinction.
Following the ideal and footsteps of the Rockefeller University, the American first and world most-reputable graduate university in fundamental research of biomedicine, despite its very small and highly specialized operations, OU is striving hard to specialize in HUMAN and HEALTH LEADERSHIP education and particularly focusing on advanced practice-oriented doctoral and postdoctoral education to achieve its mission.
OU believes that no human can live well without being in good health; no human can develop or succeed without adequate resources; no human can fully sustain and enjoy life or its meaning without wisdom, even if sufficiently possessing both wellness and wealth; and further, no human life has real meaning if wealth or wisdom are limited only to oneself. In the end, each of these truths apply to any human society, at any level of human life, and at any stage of human society. These are the so-called Human 4Ws, the fundamental essence of humanity, as conceptualized in Figure 1.
OU further recognizes that none of these 4 Human Ws can subsist or succeed unless there are strong, wise and inspirational leaders. These leaders must be carefully chosen and continuously improve themselves for organized human adventure or performance. For these reasons, OU has created unique “whole-focus,” practice-oriented doctoral curriculum as well as a distinctive learning delivery model of integrative doctoral mentoring, mainly based on Oxford’s tutoring tradition. Such designs aim to produce top quality 4W leaders who will act as the HEAD of an organization, community, group, discipline or specialty in adapting, changing and leading in the real world.
For its doctoral study program, for example, through such integrated 3-domain study processes of courses and dissertation, as simply schemed in Figure A, the student will learn and apply relevant knowledge specifically to their own real work or life/work-related issues, and ultimately to improve their organizations and their own aptitude, knowledge and skills (ASK), regardless who they are, what they do and where they are.
OU’s leadership learning, philosophically speaking, is a process of “learning by doing with thinking.” It is very different from that of traditional universities. For example, course lectures are not the norm at OU; multiple-choice exams or competence tests are not utilized as is often the case of first-professional degree curricula (e.g., medical or law degrees). OU doctoral learning does not consist of years-loaded research normally needed for a pure academic pursuit (like a PhD). Simply, OU is not just another school or is intended to help the candidate, and designated OU faculty, determine if the specific goal and expected outcomes can be realistically matched. traditional first-professional or academic path to higher education.
OU’s faculty are leaders, as tutors, mentors or advisors, in guiding practice-oriented graduate studies. Their essential goal is to help students study the issues or problems of the student’s own independent choosing. This is accomplished through OU’s unique practice-oriented scholarly research (POSR) (e.g., Elephant Study methodology). The center of learning at OU is the learner or student, the roadmap is “Learn-How,” and the delivery is carried out with an Oxford tutorial tradition, coordinated with a multi-expertise faculty team. It is intended to empower and improve the learner’s independent leadership, scholarship and collaboration in dealing with understanding and problem-solving in real organizations. Through the “whole-focus,” “Elephant-Study” of one particular issue or problem for one particular entity, the student will learn “How to Think, Act, Lead and Learn” (TALL) mindset approach in handling other issues or entities now and in the future.