What’s In a Name?

Allan Loren - Quote Box

Talk of determining the core strategic values within Student Affairs has run rampant within the division. In order to recognize where our work culture needs to be, we had to first discover the strategic values that would help get us to our future aspirational state:

“Student Affairs is a great workplace where staff trust the people they work with, take pride in what they do, and feel a sense of community in support of the student experience.”

Narrowing down a long list of organizational values was the goal with the GO BIG staff initiative’s first Community Conversation (CC1) that was held in October, 2015.

Hsieh - Trust

To give a quick recap, CC1 gave Student Affairs staff the opportunity to decide on and vote for the top values that will help us become an even greater place to work. Following CC1, GO BIG hosted four additional Walkthroughs to ensure we heard from each unit within Student Affairs.  We hosted two specific to Early Childhood Education Center and Cal Dining staff, who are often challenged by their operations to attend events from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. We also hosted two open community walkthroughs where all Student Affairs staff were invited.

After tallying all the votes, we are proud to announce that the Top 3 values are:

  1. Communication (285 votes)
  2. Honesty/Integrity (247 votes)
  3. Respect (232 votes)

Why do these values matter?

We want Student Affairs to be the best place to work, where people feel a sense of pride, trust, and community in support of the student experience. David Shanklin, Team Leader at A Great Place to Work®,  states, “The cultures of the Best Companies that we recognize on our lists are built upon strong core values that help to guide action and decision making on a daily basis.” Knowing our core values will help us chart our course as we continue moving forward as a division.

Shanklin also points out the 3 phases for establishing core values within any organization are: 1) Defining, 2) Adoption, and 3) Reinforcement. Defining those values and determining how we can adopt them into our current work culture is what CC1 and CC2 are all about!


Next phase…Community Conversation 2!

At our second Community Conversation (CC2), ImprovHQ, will lead us in an interactive keynote session to get our energy up and our minds working. Attendees will then break into smaller groups to delve deeper into the behaviors and meanings of our chosen values. We need you and your unique perspective and voice to help us understand the behaviors that best contribute to a positive work culture within Student Affairs.

Registration for CC2 is already open, but if you haven’t yet signed up, here’s another chance! It’ll take place on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 from 10am – 3pm at the new ASUC Student Union in the Pauley Ballroom. Remember, it starts with you!

In case you missed it, check out the video message from Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff Andrea Dooley, inviting you to join us!

If you are interested in learning more about the importance of defining core values within an organization, feel free to check out these articles:





  1. Gabrielle Turner · January 22, 2016

    I found the discussion on empathy really thought provoking and transformative. As a person who likes to “fix” or “solve” things in order to relieve a person’s pain or distress, I understand how trying to cheer a person up may not always be the best approach. I am very thankful for this discussion as it can help me to be more mindful of my just listening and comforting, rather than trying to solve an issue or problem that someone is experiencing.


  2. Pingback: The Simple Power of “How are You?” | UC Berkeley Student Affairs: GO BIG!

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