Core Values and Attributes

Core Values and Attributes

Core Values

Our core values are what differentiate us as an institution and serve as underlying themes for all our communications.

We believe in the power of inquiry.

Our dedication to academic freedom and rigorous inquiry has defined the character of the University from its inception, trumping social conventions and preconceptions, and valuing the inclusion of all voices and viewpoints, both within the University and across society. Our belief in the power of inquiry, more than any other, shapes this environment and leads to world-changing insights and discoveries.

We are an intellectual destination.

This environment of vigorous discourse and debate draws scholars from around the world who seek out an intellectual environment that encourages risk-taking and passion, that rewards those with the ambition to take their ideas from good to great. The University is a beacon for thinkers who choose data over dogma, who push an idea into the path of doubt to reveal its weaknesses, and who recognize the value of discontent with the status quo and the potency of unexpected collaborations.

We provide a distinctive and empowering education.

We teach students how to think, not what to think, in an independent, flexible, and creative way. We foster a skeptical approach and a demand for data balanced by optimistic belief that the greatest challenges provide the richest rewards. This combination of an evidence-based approach to problem- solving with an ability to envision possibilities provides alumni with the basis for success in any field or industry and the means to tread the uncharted course.

We are a partner in innovation and impact.

From the University's first days, its leaders viewed urban engagement as a priority and the City of Chicago as a partner in developing innovative solutions to society's most pressing needs. Today we are focused on creating scalable solutions for cities around the world. It is our insistence on understanding underlying causes, our persistence in pursuing the data that creates new knowledge and better solutions, and our productive civic collaborations that make us a leader in addressing urban issues.

We are the University of Chicago.

We are one university. Every individual school, department, and unit—from Chicago Booth to the Smart Museum of Art to the Urban Education Institute—contributes to the eminence of the University of Chicago, and every school, department, and unit is made greater by being part of the intellectual fabric of the University.

Core Attributes

The core attributes of the University of Chicago reflect the characteristics most shared by its faculty, students, alumni, and staff: An uncommon intelligence that embraces risk and is driven by restless curiosity, tenacious exploration of ideas, and unwillingness to accept impossibilities, tempered by a measure of humility and sharp wit.

Curious, Creative, Open, Diligent, Committed, Restless, Intelligent, Inclusive, Engaged, Rigorous, Fearless, Direct, Discerning, Ambitious, Empowering, Evidence-Based, Innovative, Authentic, Visionary, Distinctive, Humorous, Humble, Collaborative.


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