There has been extensive work done on the fundamental values that underpin academic integrity. We felt it was important to list them here, but to go further. We wanted to create a statement that would both mirror the uniqueness of UTAS as well as help us to strongly act on our values. All of the statements you see here are built from the contributions of UTAS staff. Their personal stories told us both what they most value in our community and what they believe help us to be at our best. The definitions of the statements were also drawn from staff input.
In 2010, the University committed to a stakeholder conversation with the purpose of creating a statement of collective values. These values were intended to inform the nature of life and work at the University. Feedback from the “Your Voice” survey indicated that the way we created the values statement had the possibility of demonstrating exactly what it is intended to produce – collective values in action. A small team came together to create a participatory process and deliver a Values Statement by the beginning of June 2011.
We felt it was important that everyone could read the background on the fundamental values for academic integrity. It is also helpful to be reminded of the enduring heritage of university life and academic freedom. Footnotes make it easy for everyone to be connected to the same source material.
You may notice that our statements have an action focus. They are purposefully written in the present affirmative, so they can act as a prompt for deeper conversation and inquiry. We can look at all the elements of a statement such as collaborating in ways that help us be the best we can be, such as:
What are the ways we are collaborating now? How well is that working?
In what ways can we improve our collaborating? Where can we look for innovative partners?
What is the best we can be? What's better than that? How do we get there?
Or we can look at the whole statement at once:
Is what we are about to do collaborating in ways that help us be the best we can be?
How can this project help us focus on collaborating in ways that help us be the best we can be?
Where are we already collaborating in ways that help us be the best we can be? What can we learn from that?
The statements are intended to be challenging; but focusing on them will take us closer to being the University we truly want to be. The Values Statement is a conversation starter, and it is our community conversation and collective action that will make the difference to our future.