Colleges and universities often are seen as places to discuss our ideas, debate our differences, and openly engage persons with whom we may not agree. Those debates and disagreements appear sharper and less open to compromise during an election season, particularly an election with as much acrimony as the one currently underway. It is during times like these when it becomes incumbent upon us, as members of the CU Boulder community, to remember the Colorado Creed and how we can choose to live its values.
Created by students in 2004, the Creed embodies how we should engage with one another as students, faculty members, or staff, and as members of a larger and more permanent community. Much in the same way that the pioneers who founded Boulder and helped establish what would become an internationally renowned research university, the students in 2004 saw a need and worked to fulfill it. Since then, many other students have had the responsibility for role modeling the Colorado Creed to future generations of the CU and Boulder communities.
To me, the Creed is not a rule or a mandate, but instead serves as a guidepost for how I try to interact with others. It provides a path by which we all can engage each other respectfully and work to understand other perspectives, ideas, or beliefs. These are not just words written on a wall, but fundamentally important to the success of our university and, ultimately, our society. At the end of the day, we don’t have to agree with each other, but the Creed requests us to act with integrity in all of our interactions, particularly those that require us to acknowledge each other’s differences.
So as we all walk across campus and see the words of the Creed, let’s take a moment and reflect on how we can best live it. The wisdom in those words should not be left to idyllic times, when there is little debate or dissent within our community. Instead, the Creed should serve as a reminder of how to engage respectfully with each other, acknowledging our differences, and realizing that regardless of how and why we may disagree, we all belong to a common community.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
As a member of the Boulder community and the University of Colorado Boulder, I agree to:
- Act with honor, integrity and accountability in my interactions with students, faculty, staff and neighbors.
- Respect the rights of others and accept our differences.
- Contribute to the greater good of this community.
I will strive to uphold these principles in all aspects of my collegiate experience and beyond.