One University,
many voices

UD values

The University of Delaware embodies its motto—“Knowledge is the light of the mind”—and to spread that light requires a community that nurtures intellectual curiosity and free inquiry, where everyone is empowered to learn and to flourish. This is a community where we celebrate our individual and collective achievements, where we respect diverse backgrounds, values and viewpoints.

The values of the University of Delaware are woven throughout the institution—in our mission statement, in classrooms, offices and laboratories and in our actions. They guide us every day.


Academic Freedom

We each have the responsibility to foster an atmosphere that promotes the free exchange of ideas and opinions. Everyone has the right to benefit from this atmosphere.


Diversity and Inclusion

We welcome and value different backgrounds, perspectives and learning experiences; this is essential for educating global citizens, developing knowledge and advancing and enhancing our world.



Revolutionary thinking is part of our DNA—our first students in 1743 helped found this nation. We want to make a significant difference in the world, and we are collaborating across disciplines with risk-taking, creativity and innovation to address the biggest challenges of our time.



Our supportive, friendly campus community advocates for each individual’s voice to be heard. We encourage respect and civility toward everyone, knowing that mutual appreciation and dialogue leads to greater learning.



As an engaged University, we create and capitalize on innovative partnerships with government, industry and the community for economic and civic development. These connections enrich our scholarship, research and creative activity, enhance the curriculum and ultimately contribute to the public good.


On this page, you will find our values as expressed in UD’s Mission Statement, the Student Values Statement adopted by the Student Government Association and the Statement of Respect and Responsibility of the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Values at UD | University of Delaware

Mission Statement

The University of Delaware exists to cultivate learning, develop knowledge, and foster the free exchange of ideas. State-assisted yet privately governed, the University has a strong tradition of distinguished scholarship, which is manifested in its research and creative activities, teaching, and service, in line with its commitment to increasing and disseminating scientific, humanistic, artistic, and social knowledge for the benefit of the larger society. Founded in 1743 and chartered by the state in 1833, the University of Delaware today is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university. 

The University of Delaware is a major research university with extensive graduate programs that is also dedicated to outstanding undergraduate and professional education. UD faculty are committed to the intellectual, cultural, and ethical development of students as citizens, scholars and professionals. UD graduates are prepared to contribute to a global and diverse society that requires leaders with creativity, integrity and a dedication to service. 

The University of Delaware promotes an environment in which all people are inspired to learn, and encourages intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, free inquiry, and respect for the views and values of an increasingly diverse population. 

An institution engaged in addressing the critical needs of the state, nation, and global community, the University of Delaware carries out its mission with the support of alumni who span the globe and in partnership with public, private, and nonprofit institutions in Delaware and beyond.  



Adopted by the Student Government Association

We as Blue Hens are part of a community of scholars that is committed to giving back and making a difference.  We create a community where diversity is essential, fearlessness is admired, and pride is born. Our legacy is built as we uphold these values defined by students for students:

Respect – We support the inherent right for all members of our community to have a voice and freely share their ideas. We acknowledge that an environment where there is mutual respect and dialogue leads to greater learning.

Openness – We believe that diversity is not enough. Diversity is acknowledging that differences exist. Openness means that we are accepting of learning from and engaging with all members of our community.

Innovation – We challenge all Blue Hens to be bold and creative as we strive for a better world. We will be committed to progress, while recognizing the value of past experiences. Our education provides us limitless opportunities to move ourselves and others forward.

Engagement – We will take an active role in the life of the university, both as learners and contributing community members. We know that true growth comes from being an active and engaged participant in our experiences.  

Mentorship – We seek to become visionary and passionate Blue Hens who understand our role in fostering society’s next generation of responsible and ethical leaders. We will build relationships that foster excellence, support, and accountability.

It is our responsibility as Blue Hens to enable and empower each other to attain these values. As Blue Hens, we are committed to these ideals and will work to hold one another accountable. Through this work, we are doing our part to ensure that “with a Daring Spirit Bold, Delaware Will Shine.”

Statement of Respect & Responsibility

The University of Delaware community values both personal and academic freedom.  Each member of the campus community has the responsibility to promote an atmosphere in which the free exchange of ideas and opinions can flourish.  All members have the right to benefit from this atmosphere.  We realize these values by learning from individual and collective differences, and by engaging with every human being, through:

  • RESPECT: We value individual differences, intersections of identities and life experiences.  Understanding inclusion means listening to various viewpoints, which strengthens our community and supports our intellectual growth.
  • CULTURE: We ensure a welcoming campus culture that advocates for each individual’s voice to be heard.
  • GROWTHWe seek self-awareness to strengthen connections and relationships with others.  We engage in open dialogue that builds trust and support.
  • INTEGRITYWe pride ourselves on honesty and transparency.  Leadership, accountability, and professionalism nurture a positive campus climate and community.
  • ENGAGEMENT: We collaborate with local, national and international communities to make significant contributions through research, teaching, learning and service.

In joining the UD community, we understand and acknowledge the importance of embracing this Statement of Respect and Responsibility.