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Mission & Values

The Mission of the Office of the Dean of Students
The Office of the Dean of Students serves a central role in student learning and development at Vanderbilt, advancing the University’s mission of teaching, research, and service by fostering academic and social networks through which students develop as intentional learners and global citizens. The Office of the Dean of Students creates opportunities to involve students, faculty and staff in diverse learning communities and provides a critical support structure for enriching the overall student experience. We achieve these ends through strategic alignment, both internally and in concert with other university departments.

The Purposes of the Office of the Dean of Students

Our core purposes are to:

  • Create a transformative college experience that dissolves the traditional barriers between in and out of classroom learning.
  • Enhance academic performance and intellectual excellence by building effective learning communities that emphasize the active engagement of students, faculty and staff.
  • Serve as a structural support system that fosters well being, security, safety, accessibility, capability, and encouragement, as well as provide the student with resources for belonging, recognition, contribution, and respect.
  • Promote healthy lives and balanced minds to ensure the well being of the Vanderbilt community and establish the foundation for individual learning and personal development.
  • Forge collaborative partnerships to achieve a seamless learning environment that links, aligns, and integrates programmatic and academic endeavors.
  • Expand opportunities for experiential learning, civic engagement, cultural enrichment, leadership development, and service learning.
  • Conduct ongoing assessments upon which to generate policies and programs that meet the changing needs and interests of students and to increase our capacity for doing so.
  • Provide intellectual challenge and increase the overall sense of community by generating dialog around issues of tolerance, justice, moral responsibility, and human dignity.
  • Espouse, embody and impart the values of the Community Creed within our residential community.

Our Credo

Our students come FIRST. We serve our students by working with students, faculty, and staff to fulfill the mission of the University.

We care deeply.

  • We respond personally, enthusiastically, and promptly to our students and their families, to our alumni, to our campus partners, and to members of the larger community.
  • We strive to provide a safe, secure, accessible, and healthy environment designed to promote the flourishing of our students.
  • We strive to create a welcoming, inclusive environment that enables a sense of belonging and the development of shared commitments.
  • We engage passionately and find solutions.
  • We strive to exceed the expectations of those with whom we work and serve.

We educate deeply.

  • We are committed to building and sustaining an academic community which affirms the full membership of the diverse individuals and groups of which it is composed.
  • We encourage students to learn from each other.
  • We encourage students to interact with our internationally prominent faculty.
  • We encourage students to find their passions and to engage in inquiry-driven scholarship and leadership.

 We lead with excellence.

  • We pursue professional development and master our craft for the sake of our students.
  • We are accountable for our actions; we engage in inquiry, evaluation and assessment to guide our decision-making and practice.
  • We fully employ our diverse skills as a team to serve our students.
  • We collaborate with our campus partners to serve our students and undertake effective communication strategies with both partners and students.
  • We are accountable for our actions and act in ways that benefit the welfare of our students and the Vanderbilt community.
  • We act in accordance with the standards of our profession and our University.