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Office of the President
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211

University of the Pacific's Values Initiative

March 15, 2017

To the University Community:

For more than 165 years, University of the Pacific has been deeply committed to providing an exceptional education built on enduring principles. These principles–our core values–have intrinsic importance to those within the university.

Most of us have an intuitive understanding of the values at the heart of our university. But we need to go beyond an intuitive understanding to one that is explicit and shared. Our core values must be articulated and inculcated to serve as guideposts for our decisions and our actions.

This spring we are beginning a “Values Initiative” in our university community. Guided by a representative group of Pacificans, we will work together to identify and define our core values and reflect on what it means to live by them. We will consider whether the values included in Pacific 2020 accurately reflect the spirit and core principles that we share or if they need to be refined or changed.

A Steering Committee of faculty, staff and administrators from our three campuses has been identified and had its kick-off meeting on March 6. Dr. Stacy McAfee, associate vice president for External Relations, Strategic Partnerships, and Presidential Initiatives, is the lead. For this effort to succeed, it is imperative that we have broad and deep engagement across our three campuses with faculty, staff, students, alumni, the Cabinet and Board. 

Our values will guide and shape our students’ success by defining the essence of what a Pacific education means. An affirmed set of values will build students’ pride and sense of belonging to the university that can transform their Pacific experience into lasting loyalty. Our values will also support our faculty and staff development and engagement through a shared sense of purpose and identity. They will foster a culture that recognizes and rewards the talents and commitment of our people, and cultivate an environment of innovation, inclusiveness and respect.

The Values Initiative will be informed by existing related work, some of which includes feedback from the 2015 staff and faculty climate surveys, the research done in fall 2016 by the cross-university “people, culture and infrastructure” group led by Vice President Burnie Atterbury that was part of our Pacific 2020 refresh planning and other research and reports.

From now until the end of the academic year, we will engage the entire Pacific community in a listening and learning process that will provide opportunities to participate through an online survey, interviews and focus groups on all campuses. We will communicate our progress through the Pacific Insider and provide periodic updates on a SharePoint site (Pacific login required). Over the summer, the Steering Committee will analyze the input and generate a set of recommendations regarding the institution’s core values and their definitions. In the fall, we will seek the Board of Regents’ endorsement of the values and prepare a communications strategy and implementation and assessment plan for 2018.  

The Values Initiative will be one of the most important efforts the university will undertake that will guide our success. Lending your voice and your input is essential to create a culture of shared purpose that celebrates excellence.