Think. Communicate. Collaborate. Create.
…for meaningful lives.
That’s the elegantly simple mission statement of the College of Arts and Sciences, created in fall 2016 as part of a visionary strategic planning process led by Kevin Guskiewicz in his first year as dean. “To think, communicate, collaborate and create” is not only what we strive to teach our students, it’s the environment we seek to provide for our faculty and staff so that they may do their best work.
Each of those words packs a lot of meaning. “Think” refers to analytical and creative thinking, to reflecting, to making cognitive leaps to connect ideas. “Communicate” encapsulates written, oral, visual and digital fluencies. “Collaborate” recognizes that most research and learning experiences today are team sports, and the ability to work cooperatively toward a shared goal is essential. “Create” means producing knowledge as well as inventing techniques or materials; it embraces performance, composition and art.
“…For meaningful lives” is equally multilayered. It refers to the empowering effects of education and self-knowledge. It’s a recognition that a broad and deep liberal arts education provides perspective, context and understanding. It recognizes that today’s students will likely have multiple careers—and our job is to provide the foundation that permits them to adapt, to excel, to explore the unexpected path.
Reimagining the Arts & Sciences for the public good
Vision statements are meant to be lofty and aspirational. Ours proudly recognizes that we are the nation’s first public university and with that comes responsibility. Public service is steeped into the ethos of Carolina faculty, students, staff and alumni. We are seeking to identify and solve some of the world’s great challenges—energy efficiency, social justice, clean water, economic disparities, urban sprawl, religious intolerance, to name just a few. We are striving for changes that will positively disrupt.
Our values statement reflects our guiding principles: First, we put students first and foremost—they are our reason for being. Second, as a renowned global public research university, we aspire to lead the world in research, academic scholarship and creative endeavors. Third, we recognize that courageous change is usually preceded by a systematic plan of action and a mindset that doesn’t settle for the status quo.