Cornell University Core Values

Among the recommendations set forth in the 2017-18 academic year by both the Presidential Task Force on Campus Climate and the Provost’s Task Force to Enhance Faculty Diversity was the creation of a university-wide statement reaffirming our core values. The university leadership team worked closely with stakeholders from across the university to identify the values that embody what Cornell stands for. In fall 2019, the university adopted a set of core values that will serve as the foundation for a more equitable and inclusive atmosphere for all on our campuses.

 

Purposeful Discovery

We value the process of discovery through learning, teaching, scholarship, and innovation to advance the University’s mission, in all cases striving with integrity for excellence and purpose. The search for and the dissemination of knowledge are tightly linked: as A. D. White noted, “The power of discovering truth and the power of imparting it are almost invariably found together.”
 

Free and Open Inquiry and Expression

We are a community whose very purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. We value free and open inquiry and expression—tenets that underlie academic freedom—even of ideas some may consider wrong or offensive. Inherent in this commitment is the corollary freedom to engage in reasoned opposition to messages to which one objects.
 

A Community of Belonging

As a university founded to be a place where “…any person can find instruction…,” we value diversity and inclusion, and we strive to be a welcoming, caring, and equitable community where students, faculty, and staff with different backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn, innovate, and work in an environment of respect, and feel empowered to engage in any community conversation.
 

Exploration across Boundaries

Ezra Cornell embraced a vision that we would be a place to “…find instruction in any study.” To that end, we value the importance of all academic disciplines and celebrate the power of connections among them.
 

Changing Lives through Public Engagement

As the land-grant institution of New York, with our main campus within the ancestral homelands of the Cayuga Nation and a long history of national and international connections, we value engagement in our community, our state, and the broader world, learning about their needs and strengths, and applying the knowledge we create for the benefit of society.
 

Respect for the Natural Environment

We value our role in advancing solutions for a sustainable future and we recognize the close relationship between people and the Earth, acting in ways to live and work sustainably.