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Vision and Values

What are the University’s Vision and Values?

The University’s vision statement dates back to 2010 and contains little reference to such important attributes as equity, diversity, and inclusion. As well, there is currently no University-wide statement of values.

A Visions and Values Committee developed a revised vision statement and a draft values statement that draws from similar messages currently in place at the Medical Center, the Eastman School of Music, and Arts, Sciences, and Engineering and is seeking feedback about the ideas and concepts in the statements.

Ultimately these statements will guide ongoing work to review and revise University policies and procedures. The statements will also anchor and give meaning to education and training around diversity equity and inclusion by tying them to commonly held values, and help the University cultivate a culture of respect.

Next Steps: Share Your Feedback


  • 1Read the questions
  • 2Review the statements
  • 3Share your feedback

1) The Questions

As you review the statements, consider these questions:

  • Is this the best vision for the University going forward?
  • Are these the correct values?
  • Are there values that are missing from the list?
  • How will the adoption of a values statement make a difference in our culture (in how we treat one another)?

2) The Statements

  • Draft of Revised Vision Statement

    A University of the Highest Order

    The University of Rochester aspires to be a research, teaching, and healthcare institution of the highest order: a community in which all who work, study, and seek care are welcome and respected, and where individuals can achieve their highest objectives unhindered by constraints on access, creativity, or participation. Steeped in the City of Rochester’s rich histories of social justice and entrepreneurial spirit, exemplified by the ideals of Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, and George Eastman, the university will be an inclusive, equitable and responsive organization at every level. Guided by the core principle of Meliora or “Ever Better,” the University of Rochester will help to frame and solve the greatest challenges of the 21st century by:

    • Empowering and supporting all students, faculty, and staff by providing equal access to opportunities.
    • Fostering a safe, inclusive climate that allows all members of the University community to fulfill their academic and professional passions and perform to their fullest potential.
    • Encouraging interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial collaboration and excellence in research, arts and sciences, engineering, health sciences, business, education, and music.
    • Strengthening our status as a global university of consequence.
    • Optimizing resources for the support of teaching, mentoring, research, clinical care, service, and the creative and performing arts.
    • Serving our community of alumni and friends by enriching their on-going relationship with the University and recognizing and expanding their collective contributions to the University and the world.
    • Envisioning our community engagement commitments as a global model for sustainability and partnership among academic, civic, cultural, health care, and business organizations.
    • Caring for patients and their families with compassion and cultural sensitivity, combined with state of the art medical procedures and practices, informed by research.
  • Draft Values Statement

    Freedom and Striving for Excellence

    Freedom of ideas and expression is required to achieve excellence in all of our institutional missions. We welcome discussion and disagreement as fuel for growth and change. We expect an environment where all individuals are valued for their unique contributions.

    Respect and Compassion

    Every person has the right to be treated with respect, regardless of our many differences as individuals and groups. We act with empathy, understanding, compassion and attentiveness toward all.

    Equity and Inclusion

    A sense of belonging fosters trust, engagement, and collaboration. We thrive by welcoming and engaging differences in our community. We enable successful outcomes through transparency and equitable access to information and opportunity. We care for patients and their families from all backgrounds in culturally respectful and responsive ways.

    Integrity and Fairness

    Integrity and honesty strengthen the relationships on which our community is built, and fairness is fundamental to all processes of decision-making and problem solving in the work of this institution. We conduct ourselves in a fair, trustworthy manner and uphold professional and ethical standards.

    Accountability and Responsibility

    Accountability for one’s actions enhances the learning and growth of all and is critical to the sustainability of this institution. We are responsible for our own ideas and actions, and we express them in ways that do not limit or threaten others.


3) Your Feedback

Fill out the form to share your feedback. Submissions may be anonymous. However, if you wish to receive a reply, be sure to include your name and email address.
There also will be opportunities for in-person discussion of these drafts. Please contact Maggie Cousin ( if you would like information about a discussion event near you.


Committee Members

  • Donna Brink Fox, Sr. Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, Eastman School of Music
  • Linda Chaudron, Associate Dean for Diversity at the School of Medicine and Dentistry and Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Carin Cole, Assistant Dean for Professional Programs, Simon School of Business
  • Maggie Cousin, Assistant Provost Faculty Development & Diversity
  • Cameka Hazel, Student, Warner School of Education and Human Development
  • Myra Henry, Sr. Director of Administrative Services, River Campus Libraries
  • Maggie Kearney, Vice Provost & University Dean of Graduate Studies
  • Tony Kinslow, Associate Vice President Human Resources, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Vivian Lewis, Vice Provost Faculty Development & Diversity, and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynocology
  • Anne Nofziger, Associate Professor in Family Medicine
  • Beth Olivares, Dean for Diversity Initiatives in Arts, Sciences and Engineering, and Director of the David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity
  • Rohith Palli, Student, School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Kathy Rideout, Dean School of Nursing
  • Jeff Runner, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences