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University Mission and Values

University Mission and Values

The University of Utah fosters student success by preparing students from diverse backgrounds for lives of impact as leaders and citizens. We generate and share new knowledge, discoveries, and innovations, and we engage local and global communities to promote education, health, and quality of life. These contributions, in addition to responsible stewardship of our intellectual, physical, and financial resources, ensure the long‐term success and viability of the institution.

University of Utah Core Values:

  1. Student success and engagement: The U is committed to providing the financial assistance, personalized support, and engaged learning experiences that increase access to the university and facilitate persistence through degree completion.
  2. Research and teaching excellence: The U engages in cutting-edge teaching and research that foster inter- and trans-disciplinary innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and knowledge and technology transfer.
  3. Diversity: The U celebrates the rich diversity of people as well as creative and intellectual traditions by being inclusive in every respect.
  4. Sustainability: The U contributes to a more sustainable world through research, teaching, and demonstrating best practices in protecting and enhancing the natural and built environment on the campus and environs, making it a great place to live, learn, work, play, create, recreate, and visit.
  5. Global vision and strategy: The U thinks and acts globally by increasing opportunities for students and faculty to engage in international study, teaching, research, and service.
  6. Community: The U maintains a strong sense of community among students, faculty, and staff, and cultivates meaningful university, neighborhood, city, region, state, and global partnerships.
  7. Leadership: The U engages students, faculty, staff, and the larger community in conversations that lead to positive transformation at the local, state, national, and global levels.


Diversity, equity, and inclusion are key to quality education, scholarly discourse, and vibrant communities. We know that excellence happens when the leadership principles of equity and inclusion are effectively and consistently integrated into the culture and processes of the university. While Utah’s commitment to institutional excellence means that we have strong educational and working environments, there is more to do to create a working environment that is representative of society’s and Utah's diversity.

As the United States and Utah become increasingly diverse – as illustrated by recent U.S. Census data – it is even more critical that our faculty makeup reflect the world in which we live and from which our students come. Combined with faculty recruiting efforts, we must also ensure an inclusive and supportive climate that integrates and reflects both our shared values and our distinct differences, for in our diversity lies our strength. As we have all witnessed from the failures of decades of diversity strategies focused on getting “diverse” individuals into positions—these efforts often lead to tokenization, isolation, and, more generally, little movement in addressing the root issues of inequity in higher education. In this context, faculty recruitment processes and culture must be inextricably intertwined with retention strategies, starting early with populations that we have failed to retain.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion stand as three core values of the University of Utah’s mission. We share the beliefs that the university better serves our local, national, and international communities when our scholars, researchers, artists, professionals, and educators both represent the diversity of our communities and transform the culture of the U; that the success of our students can be enhanced by models and leaders of varied backgrounds; and that raising our institutional profile is linked to a climate of inclusivity, facilitated by a diverse campus community.

Faculty Diversity Awards:

  • Linda K. Amos Award for Distinguished Service to Women
  • Black Faculty and Staff Awards
    • Marcus Garvey Black Star Excellence Award
      • The Marcus Garvey Black Star Excellence Award is for new University of Utah faculty and staff who have stepped up to the plate and helped build and broadcast the University of Utah in a positive light.
    • Madam C.J. Walker Resource Award
      • The Madam C.J. Walker Resource Award is for individuals who have strengthened community-engaged learning experiences and opportunities tied to civic engagement and fostered stronger partnerships between the local community and the University of Utah.
    • Malcom X Award of Social Justice
      • The Malcolm X Award of Social Justice is for individuals who have fought for justice in terms of the distribution of equal access, opportunities, and privileges within our campus and the greater community and whose body of academic work (e.g., articles, books, creative works) and life promote or exemplify the area of social justice in modern life.
    • Maya Angelou Award of Innovation
      • The Maya Angelou Award of innovation is for individuals who have used creativity to develop or improve processes, methods, systems, products, or services and encourage others to do the same. This award is given to those who make innovation a priority among team/faculty members, encourage reasonable and calculated risk-taking, and improve work and personal life at the University of Utah.
    • James McCune Smith Award of Veneration
      • The James McCune Award of Veneration is for individuals who are awe-inspiring examples of dignity, wisdom, dedication, and excellence at the University of Utah.