As we pause between the spring and the summer terms, I would like to take a moment to share with you some concepts that we as a University value. As an institution, we chose five ideals that we call
"Core Values" when we recrafted our University's mission a few years ago. These Core Values are the foundation for our decisions:
Today, let's begin with Integrity. Integrity is "adherence to moral or ethical principles; soundness of moral character" (integrity. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved May 16, 2012, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/integrity) Simply put, integrity means doing the right thing - all the time. This is a lofty ideal, but it is a worthy pursuit and deserving of being a Core Value.
It is my hope that in all dealings that we have as a University with others - students, faculty, staff, community members, organizations, etc, that we always do the right thing. This may not mean that we do what is popular. It may mean that we anger some. It does mean that we will hold true to who we are.
I mention this today because I was impressed by one comment made yesterday afternoon by Gus Malzahn, the brand new coach of the ASU Red Wolves football team. He talked about the players that he has in Jonesboro. He talked about their skills and their strengths. When he moved his attention to the coaching staff, he did talk about their individual qualifications (for example, take inventory of the BCS Championships among his assistant coaches), but what caught my ear was one simple phrase - "these are men of character." Wow! What a refreshing remark in light of what we have seen recently in college football!
For those football players, the power of example is priceless. For our students, the exact same thing is true. We will strive to act in accordance with our values with integrity in all of our dealings. If you find that we fall short of this ideal, please let us know, because our goal - integrity - remains the same.