Academic institutions exist, among other reasons, to discover, advance and transmit knowledge and to develop in their students, faculty and staff the capacity for creative and critical thought. At Virginia Commonwealth University, members of the academic community should strive to exemplify the following specific ideals in addition to other worthy ideals:
Statements in bold are the approved VCU Creed.
Recommendations for revisions to the Rules and Procedures at VCU were approved by the Board of Visitors and became effective in fall 1993. The Revisions Committee also made other recommendations, including one that the provost should assume responsibility for “â€¦ ensuring that steps are taken to promote a greater appreciation of the importance of expression and freedom from harassment in an academic community.” More specifically, the committee proposed the development of a statement of responsibilities in an academic community, and two different drafts were submitted in the committee’s report.
During fall semester 1993, the Academic Campus Student Government Association took on the task of reviewing the two draft documents and decided on one of the versions with some amendments suggested by SGA members. The first draft of what is now the VCU Creed was approved by the SGA on Dec. 6, 1993.
Since that time, various campus groups such as the MCV Campus Student Government Association, the Faculty Senate and the University Council have discussed the document and suggested modifications. Adoption of the document was one of eight goals for the 1998-99 academic year established by the Academic Campus Student Government Association. The document was approved by the University Council on May 11, 1999, and by the Board of Visitors on May 14, 1999.
The VCU Creed addresses the all-important issue of community on the college campus. It identifies the values we believe in and strive to uphold as an academic community. The late Ernest Boyer, writing in “Campus Life, In Search of Community,” called on colleges and universities to “â€¦ return to their roots and to consider, not more regulations, but the enduring values of a true learning community.” This was precisely the motivation of the Rules and Procedures Revision Committee â€” after spending nearly a year revising the rules and regulations, it was felt that we needed to focus on the positive, the things we do not because we have to do them but because we want to do them.
In a time when college campuses often must deal with such issues as sexual harassment, substance abuse and disruptive conduct in classrooms, the values of the Creed help us focus on civility with each other, compassion for all people, empathy for others and the importance of being open to the ideas and beliefs of others.