The article focuses on the mission humanitarianism of a university as a social institution from the perspective of social ontology. The mission is viewed as a perfect benchmark (supreme goal and purpose) necessary for university existence as well as for maintenance and authorization of its institutional identity. It is shown that despite the changes in functionality of universities under the conditions of knowledge-intensive economy development (use of business models in interaction with the society), the humanitarian orientation has not lost its significance since it is necessary for the existence of a university as an institutionally organized specific educational activity, including knowledge generation, storage and transmission. Key institutional characteristics are considered that reveal the importance of humanitarianism for preserving the university as a unique social phenomenon. The authors are guided by the methodology of moderate constructivism – the study of value and meaning of human mentality, ideas and ideals in forming the institutional design of social reality. The role of the ideal and the intentionality of human actions in the construction and function of an educational social institution, which is expressed in the university corporation’s drive to be orientated at values, which give positive social significance to its activities and are aimed at achieving good, are explored. The university produces and conveys knowledge through establishing a knowledge subject, in other words, it forms the very intention to achieve a socially significant result not only in an objectified form of knowledge, but also in the form of evolution (development) of an individual who can produce and use knowledge for the good of society and for their personal advancement. In this context, the mission is understood to be a supreme goal and an ideal benchmark in the concrete historic practices of university education in forming a knowledge subject who must master the fundamental values necessary for society’s existence. The university mission is based on the concrete historic interpretation of the key socially significant goal of education: the development of a “human being” who acts for the good and benefit of society and its members via conveying the thesaurus of universal human values in their concrete historic theoretical and ideological formats.