UF values to serve as shared foundation

Six values representing the University of Florida and its aspirations, presented to the university’s Board of Trustees last month, will help to guide the university and its employees, staff and students as it continues to rise in the rankings of the nation’s top public universities.

 “The purpose of these values, very simply, is to serve as our shared foundation as the university changes, grows and advances in coming years,” said UF President Kent Fuchs. “They describe our most fundamental understanding of who we are, what we stand for and our highest aspirations for our community -- and for the world we will help to create.”

 In September 2020, President Fuchs asked Diane McFarlin, former dean of the College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC), to establish a working group and Values Council to craft a series of value statements for the university.

 The working group, which included researchers and strategic communicators from UFCJC, conducted an analysis of value statements at the top-50 public universities and a content analysis of recent UF communications. Based on that analysis, a survey was developed and distributed in November 2020 to gather feedback from all UF students, faculty and staff and 20,000 alumni.

 The Values Council, composed of a diverse group of six faculty, staff and students, reviewed the survey results and crafted six value statements, which were presented to UF leadership and the Board of Trustees in early December, 2020.

 “Core values are essential guideposts for institutions that play influential roles, and that is especially true during challenging times like these,” said Dean McFarlin. “It was a privilege to work with inspired colleagues on this initiative.”

 The core values augment the 2015 University Strategic Plan: The Decade Ahead that outlined seven goals to establish UF as “a premier university that the state, nation, and world look to for leadership.”  That plan underpinned the university’s efforts to reach the Top 10 among public research universities and its continuing efforts to reach the Top 5 among publics.

 The UF Core Values and accompanying explanations are here. A synopsis:

  •  Excellence

       Strive for greatness as an institution that brings out the best in each individual.

  •  Discovery and Innovation

       Collaborate on the uncharted frontiers of knowledge to seek truth and make the world a better place.

  •  Inclusion

       Celebrate differences in identities, thoughts, and abilities, and seek to provide equitable access to opportunity.

  •  Freedom and Civility

       Embrace the freedom to inquire and express ideas without condemnation, and to show respect for the right of others to do the             same.

  •  Community

       Create a safe, welcoming community and a shared purpose that builds a sense of belonging and togetherness. 

  •  Stewardship

       Show respect for those who came before us, responsibility for those now with us, and the commitment to leave a just and                     habitable world for those who come after us.

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The University of Florida’s mission is to prepare our students to lead and influence the next generation and beyond for economic, cultural and societal benefit. Recognized as among the top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report, UF is one of the nation’s largest public universities, and is the only member of the Association of American Universities in Florida. Teaching, research and scholarship, and service span all of the UF’s academic disciplines and represent its commitment to be a premier university that the state, nation and world look to for leadership. www.ufl.edu.

UF News January 27, 2021