The values of the higher education IT community shape the strategic directions and actions of EDUCAUSE. In consultation with EDUCAUSE members and community leaders, the EDUCAUSE executive staff continues to develop a series of value statements. Each statement will provide a brief overview of what the value means, why our community considers it to be important, and how the value guides EDUCAUSE in its service to association members and to higher education. The list of values, which will change over time and should not be considered exhaustive, is posted on the EDUCAUSE website here.
"EDUCAUSE values community for the relationships, commitment, and collective action it catalyzes, and EDUCAUSE thus supports the development and adoption of technologies, applications, and approaches to foster community."
A community is "a group or society, helping each other." A strong community nurtures the development of relationships and fosters mutual commitment, respect, responsibility, understanding, and participation among its members.
The college/university is the very essence of community—a place where people gather together to explore ideas and to expand the boundaries of knowledge. The community acts as a springboard to discovery, encouraging individuals to expand their worldviews and remain open to a wide range of ideas and possibilities. EDUCAUSE values this type of community.
Technological innovations, however, have created, changed, and in some cases, challenged our notions of community. Anyone and anything can be connected. Communities can appear and disappear spontaneously or can be long-lived. Technology enables the formation of communities of any size, on topics general or specialized, and without limitations of geography or time. Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter, for example, have catalyzed communities never before imagined. Technology-enabled communities can be social, scientific, political, or about collective action. They can have great power.
EDUCAUSE too is a community, comprising institutions and individuals who are committed to the free flow of information and ideas through the use of technology. EDUCAUSE manifests the value of community in the ways it promotes the association’s other values: innovation, openness, collaboration, and working toward the common good. Interaction among the members of our community opens us up to the experiences of others, gives us an awareness, deeper understanding, and appreciation for the common challenges faced at institutions large and small, and helps bring into focus possible approaches and solutions.
The EDUCAUSE community is not limited to IT practitioners. Our community is enriched by connections with international colleagues, the broader world of higher education, and corporate and government organizations. As expressed in our motto—"uncommon thinking for the common good"—our community values opportunities to consider a diversity of perspectives, to think imaginatively, and to embrace innovation. EDUCAUSE cultivates strategic relationships with other professional associations to enhance our community's work.
EDUCAUSE strives to foster a community of higher education IT professionals who can engage with colleagues, contribute their expertise, and grow in the profession. Our members can find others with similar interests and can follow, share, and expand professional networks through social media. The ability to share lessons learned and leverage effective practices allows the entire community to progress more rapidly.
As the higher education technology association, EDUCAUSE embraces the values of collaboration, the common good, innovation, openness, and community. A spirit of community is central to EDUCAUSE and our service to higher education.