North Texas Daily

UNT System officially adopts five shared values to guide university

UNT System officially adopts five shared values to guide university

UNT System officially adopts five shared values to guide university
February 23
13:00 2023

The UNT System’s group of five shared values created as part of the UNT System Vision was officially accepted by the Board of Regents last Thursday.

The values, which were announced in January and seek to create a unified system for the university, are listed as “Courageous Integrity,” “Be Curious,” “We Care,” “Better Together” and “Show You Fire.” The values are meant to create “a shared culture,” according to a press release from the UNT System Chancellor Michael R. Williams.

“It feels great to me that we’ve made this progress this year, and I think there’s a lot of energy behind where we’re headed with this one team,” Williams said during the board of regents meeting. “And so I thank all of you who’ve done a lot of work on that as well.”

Williams also spoke during the meeting on how “there was no sense of one team” between the campuses at the start of his tenure.

The creation of a shared set of values began when Williams was named UNT System Chancellor in January 2022. Donna Asher, the vice chancellor for People, Equity and Culture, said the “change in leadership” began conversations on collaboration between the campuses.

“I am excited for our future because I know and have experienced the impact shared values make in everything we do,” Williams said in a press release. “For those who are uncertain and for those who are already on board, I encourage each of you to spend time becoming familiar with our values and to attend an upcoming event where we will share more about our values, what they mean, and how we can begin to live them.”

At the start of the fall 2022 semester, Williams hosted several town halls in a “listening tour” across the three campuses. Williams spoke on how his goal was to create a “people first” culture.

“People in those rooms or online were submitting the values that were fundamental to them or in their workplace or their department,” North Texas System Chief Communications Officer Laken Rapier said. “So there [were] several opportunities for people to engage and provide that.”

After the tour, The five values were selected in November by 125 UNT System employees who were gathered for the task. Asher said that during those two days, people from different departments and backgrounds were separated into groups and worked on themes that eventually became the five selected values. 

“It was truly a democratic process,” Asher said. “And there were people who were very honest and transparent in their conversation. It was a healthy conflict in the room and healthy debate in the room.”

Over the rest of the spring semester, each campus will host events pertaining to each value. The goal is for staff and faculty to attend these events and “connect with the values” so they can incorporate them into classes and events, Asher said. 

“I would say the primary goal, not the only goal, but the primary goal is for people to understand the values and what they mean and to start really thinking about how can they incorporate those into what they do every day or even getting reminders of what they already do every day,” Asher said.

The introduction of the five values will begin through staff and faculty, with the goal of applying the values to students afterward. Business computer information systems sophomore Cardell Wilcox said he hopes the values will be introduced properly.

“They say all of this stuff, but they never put it into action, and then try [to] say they’re a really good school when half of the time they never put it into effect,” said the Talons retreat committee head. “There are a lot of them who try, but as a majority, they never do.”

The next events promoting the core values will be the “Better Together” and “Be Curious” events, which will occur in the Emerald Ballroom in the University Union on Feb. 23 and 27. 

“People [are] looking at their work in a different way and realizing that every single person on this team has a valuable contribution that they make,” Rapier said. “It frames some of those tough days in a brighter light and makes it all more meaningful.”

Featured Image An art installation comprised of the eight core values of the University ofNorth Texas hangs in the Union on Feb. 20, 2023. Maria Crane

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Ismael Belkoura

Ismael Belkoura

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