University Life Guided by Core Values

Posted: November 12, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Ferraro

As the University Life (UL) division continues to grow and progress in new ways, the offices of UL strive to enhance students’ in-and-out of classroom experiences, facilitate their interaction with faculty, staff and other students, and help them find their place in the Mason community.

With inspiration from Coach Larranaga’s “Habits of Excellence,” developed in the fall 2006 after Mason’s whirlwind trip to the Final Four in March that same year, UL began developing their own set of values by which to live and work.

“Coach Larranaga’s ‘Habits of Excellence’ began to resonate with the UL division and we began thinking in more detail about what we do, how we do it and whether or not we are living what we do,” says Amy Snyder, assistant dean in UL.

The Living Our Values (LOV) committee was formed by members from the various UL offices and is led by Pat Carretta, associate dean in UL. The committee conducted focus groups and surveys within the UL division to determine the values that represent the work they do every day through interactions with students, each other and other offices.

After a year and a half of planning, compiling, modifying and expanding on the feedback they received from the UL division, the committee developed nine core values. According to Carretta, the core values are a part of the identity of UL, represent what they do, guide their decisions and are the basis of the ethical standards in dealing with each other and their “customers.” An expanded version of the core values includes the definitions for each value, which shows the intentions behind each statement.

Although the core values have not been officially promoted externally, the UL web site offers a variety of ways for the Mason community to share the thoughts and experiences they have had with the UL division. One option is to share a story or offer a personal reflection on how a department within UL is living the values. Those who wish to share are asked to identify one core value.

“Sometimes the experiences people have are better told through a story,” says Snyder. “By reading the stories of those who have interacted with the UL division, we are able to share this information with one another and grow and learn from it.”

Another option is to “Send ‘Em Some Love” to celebrate the achievements of a member of the UL division who has gone the extra mile and embodied the core values. In addition, the Mason community is encouraged to display posters and cards with the core values in their departments and around campus or send them to one another.

The LOV committee continues to meet once a week and is always receiving feedback and modifying and revising the core values. The committee is also developing other ways of promotion such as buttons for students.

For a complete list of the core values, click here. For more information, contact Synder at 703-993-2884 or visit the UL web site.

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