University Park

Community feedback forms The Penn State Values

The Old Main bell, on display along the Pattee Mall on the University Park campus. Credit: L. Reidar Jensen / Penn StateCreative Commons

Among the major outcomes of the Penn State Values and Culture Survey is the creation of a draft statement of core values for the University. Called The Penn State Values, the list directly represents the feedback of students, faculty and staff at all Penn State locations. The full findings of the Penn State Values and Culture Survey were released Sept. 19.

LEARN MORE: Follow this link to learn about the survey’s key findings, for links to the full results, and more.

“At the core of any community is its values – the shared ideals about how people should act toward one another, the standards to which we hold ourselves, and those beliefs we find important,” said Penn State President Eric Barron. “This feedback from all corners of the Commonwealth serves to refine our focus on what we already know intrinsically at Penn State: that we value our community; that we aim for excellence and discovery in the work we do each day; and that we strive to conduct ourselves with integrity, respect and responsibility in all of our actions.”

The proposed Penn State Values are:

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.

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.

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.

In the coming months, focus groups and town hall meetings will be held across Penn State’s colleges, campuses, and other University units in order to introduce the proposed values and engage the community in robust conversation about the definition and application of each.

“The survey found that there is broad agreement on a set of values to which everyone at Penn State should aspire. This is a unified statement of values for Penn State students, faculty and staff, by Penn State students, faculty and staff,” Barron said. “The release of these results is the first step in an ongoing effort to define and discuss the meaning of these values, and to form a set of statements for which the University community feels ownership.”

The proposed values are the result of a multi-year process that involved representatives from across the University, including the University Faculty Senate’s Academic Integrity/Honor Code Task Force (in 2011-2012) and Student Conduct Code Task force (in 2012-2013), and the Advisory Council for Continued Excellence (ACCE). The ACCE, whose full membership is listed here, began the process by conducting focus groups and reviewing values statements that have been implemented in units across the University. Using the themes that emerged from this process, the ACCE formed a list of 13 values that were presented last October to all students, faculty and staff in the Penn State Values and Culture Survey. The proposed set of core values is a direct result of this process.

LEARN MORE: To learn more about the process that led to the Penn State Values, review a summary of the survey process.

After receiving feedback from these groups, the ACCE will include specific, concrete examples of how these values apply to various members of the University community in the final publication of the values in 2015. More information about town hall meetings to discuss The Penn State Values will be shared with the University community in the near future.

Last Updated September 26, 2014