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University Seeking Input On Draft Of Core Values

The results from the Penn State Values and Culture survey helped President Eric Barron and officials draft a list of the university’s core values. Now, Penn State is looking for feedback on these values, and is encouraging community members to attend a live town hall session to discuss the findings, or send their thoughts to [email protected].

The original survey, conducted by the Ethics Resource Center, intended to help Penn State leaders identify and establish an ethical culture on campus. The report gives a glimpse of the shared values Penn State community members identify with.

The survey’s results, which were released in September, revealed that:

  • Penn State has a strong/engaging culture where everyone feels connected to the university.
  • Academics are a key reason the community feels connected to Penn State.
  • The community trusts other community members to know and help them succeed.
  • There is a huge personal pride with belonging to Penn State.
  • The community does not feel that football is overemphasized.
  • While students trusted senior administrators, faculty and staff were not as certain.
  • The community feels there is a lack of information and trust when reporting wrongdoings.

This information then helped President Barron create a unified statement of core values. The decided draft of values and definitions are as follows:

  • Integrity: We act with integrity in accordance with the highest academic, professional, and ethical standards.
  • Respect: We respect and honor the dignity of each person, embrace civil discourse, and foster a diverse and inclusive community.
  • Responsibility: We act responsibly and hold ourselves accountable for our decisions, actions, and their consequences.
  • Discovery: We seek and create new knowledge and understanding, and foster creativity and innovation, for the benefit of our communities, society, and the environment.
  • Excellence: We strive for excellence in all our endeavors as individuals, an institution, and a leader in higher education.
  • Community: We are Penn State, one University geographically dispersed, committed to our common values and mission, working together for the betterment of the University and the communities we serve and to which we belong.

All students, faculty, and staff are invited to the live sessions where the draft values will be introduced and breakout groups will discuss definitions, applications, and further developments of each value. The information will shape the final definition, publication, and application of the Penn State values. The application is set to begin this summer at New Student Orientation. A full list of the meetings across the commonwealth can be found on the Office of University Ethics and Compliance’s website.

About the Author

Brandilyn Heckman

is a junior majoring in Secondary Education (English). Though she commutes to class from her home in Penns Valley, she refuses to be called a 'townie.' Along with Onward State, she currently interns with the Centre Daily Times. In her spare time, she is unafraid to show her love for Penn State, Landon Donovan, and Captain America. You can follow her on twitter at @Brandilynh or contact her via email with [email protected]


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