Mission, Core Work, Core Values, and Strategic Priorities

Cesar Chavez Multicultural Lounge

Read the Division of Student Life's full strategic plan for 2023-2026. 


Student Life Mission

Our Mission communicates our collective purpose and direction as an organization.

Student Life facilitates transformational student experiences by advancing student learning and development, fostering well-being, and cultivating an inclusive and equitable campus community. 


Core Work

Our Core Work describes the work of the Division of Student Life that guides our internal and external partnerships. It is supported by our investment in our staff and in a strong foundational infrastructure. Read about the student behavioral and learning outcomes for our core work. 

  • Community Building: We design and foster inclusive environments and physical spaces that value each person and create a sense of belonging and connection. 
  • Health and Well-Being Care and Education: We provide care for students’ physical and mental health, promote personal and community well-being, and ensure that students have access to resources that meet their essential needs. 
  • Leadership Education & Self-Discovery: We create opportunities for students to examine their values and passions, leverage their strengths, and build their confidence and skills to make positive contributions. 
  • Social Justice Education & Intercultural Development: We facilitate deeper awareness of individual and collective identity that prepares students to thrive in a global context. 
  • Student Intervention, Support & Advocacy: We work with students to navigate and address complex problems and to build agency to advocate for their own needs. 


Core Values

Our values are the deeply ingrained principles that describe us at our very best. We strive to have them guide our actions at every level of the organization and our relationships with students, colleagues, and partners. Student Life staff have identified examples of staff behaviors that support these core values throughout the division. 

  • Adaptability: We both anticipate and are responsive to the needs of our students and the campus community through solutions-oriented approaches. 
  • Compassion: We care for others through our words and actions and interact with compassion and empathy. 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: We strive to make our campus a place where differences are celebrated, patterns of inequity are disrupted, multiple perspectives are heard, and every individual feels a sense of belonging and connection. 
  • Learning and Innovation: We are committed to the learning and development of everyone in our community. We invest in improvements and innovations that advance our work. 
  • Partnership: We have our greatest impact when we do things together and are accountable to each other.  We are a team and value relationships and connections with our colleagues and partners. 
  • Stewardship and Accountability: We serve as responsible stewards of our resources, act within ethical and restorative frameworks, and value environmental sustainability in meeting the needs of our multiple constituencies. 

Love the quote posters linked above for each of Student Life's core values? Feel free to download and/or print all six of our quote posters and our two Zoom backgrounds (Core Values Blue Background and Core Values Yellow Background). 


Strategic Priorities (2023-2026)

  • Establish Student Life as a leader in Sustainability Programming and Operations. 
  • Address Health and Well-being with a focus on Policies, Systems, and Structures. 
  • Through DEI 2.0, embed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the core of our People, Processes, and Product. 
  • Develop a Strategic, Sustainable Student Life Financial Model
  • Develop and Implement a Division-Wide Branding, Marketing, and Communication Strategy.
  • Enhance Staff Recruitment and Retention efforts. 


Values in Action Awards 

The division's inaugural Values in Action Awards for Student Life staff members are based on the core values described above. 

Submit nomination

Award Categories 

  • Adaptability in Action 
  • Compassion in Action 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Action 
  • Partnership in Action 
  • Learning and Innovation in Action 
  • Stewardship and Accountability in Action 

Submitting a nomination: 

  • The nomination period for the inaugural 2024 awards opens on February 1, 2024. Submissions are due by Monday, April 1, at 5:00 p.m. 
  • Submit one nomination per form. If you want to nominate a staff member for multiple Values in Action Awards, please submit separate forms for each value. 
  • You can preview the nomination form on Google Docs before submitting it on Qualtrics

Strong nominations will include: 

  • Examples that are directly tied to the Values definition (see above) 
  • A story or examples that illustrate the nominee's demonstration of the Value 
  • The nominee's impact on the Unit and/or Division 


  • Nominees: All non-bargained-for, full and part-time regular employees in the Division, as well as our colleagues represented by AFSCME, UMPNC, UMMAP, and UPAMM, are eligible to participate, provided they have been employed at least 6 months since their most recent date of hire, and are in good standing.* Temporary employees (including student employees), and past award recipients are not eligible for consideration. 
  • Nominators: Those who can nominate eligible staff include Student Life staff, student staff, temporary staff, faculty, and non-Student Life employees at the University. Submissions must come from University of Michigan email addresses.

*Good standing is defined for an employee as having no written discipline, Disciplinary Layoff (DLO), or documented performance issues (e.g., PIP for non-bargained for employees) on file for the preceding 6 months from the date nominations are due. 

Award winners will receive: 

  • A $500 prize 
  • A feature in Student Life Today 
  • Recognition at the Annual Student Life Celebration 
  • An invitation to a private gathering with Vice President Martino Harmon 
  • Consideration for nomination to institutional awards

Selection committee 

Nominations will be reviewed by a panel of staff selected from each Community of Practice (SL Support, Up Close, Connect, and Assembly) and confirmed by Student Life Human Resources. 

Submit nomination