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Values commitments revisited

Stetson’s core values, by definition, touch the development of the whole person: committed to engaging and building life-long connections with the larger world through Personal Growth, Intellectual Development and Global Citizenship.

Building upon the legacy of former President Doug Lee, Stetson President Wendy Libby initiated a process that has rearticulated and invigorated Stetson’s commitment to fundamental human values. She tasked American Studies Professor Emily Mieras and Vice President of Student Affairs Chris Kandus-Fisher with establishing the framework for moving forward. Their work led to the creation of the Values Commitment Steering Team which now requests input and involvement from the entire university community regarding how best to implement our freshly reconceived institutional values. Already, there are more than 30 individuals directly involved in various task forces working on development of specific recommendations to integrate our value commitments more fully into university operations, campus life and our academic curriculum.

Each of the three core values areas is led by co-chairs: one member is from the university staff, and the other has been selected from our faculty. The area of Personal Development is headed up by Counselor Education Professor Leila Roach and Lynn Stadelman, executive director of Holistic Wellness. They have organized a task force to strengthen and broaden Stetson’s commitment to religion and spirituality while providing alternatives for those seeking less traditional approaches to inner development. The two have also formed working groups to improve campus nutritional options and to enhance our various wellness programs.

The circular representation of Stetson’s revised Values depicts the interrelatedness and interdependence of all of Stetson’s values commitments.

The Global Citizenship area is led by Philosophy Professor Josh Rust and Tishia Dunham who is both director of Bar Preparation Services and a professor at Stetson’s College of Law. Together they are supervising task forces on diversity and inclusion, issues of environmental responsibility, community engagement and social justice.

Mathematics and Computer Science Professor Michael Branton and Assistant Vice President for University Relations Rina Tovar lead the values area of Intellectual Development, directing task forces focused on academic excellence and enhancement of our undergraduate cultural credit programs.

If you have suggestions for the Steering Team or would like to become more involved, please contact any of the six co-chairs or simply write to: values@stetson.edu. Or, you can write to Steering Team Leader and Professor of Modern Languages Robert Sitler at rsitler@stetson.edu.

by Professor of Modern Languages Robert Sitler

Values Commitment Leader