EDUCAUSE Values: The Common Good

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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 is developing 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: <>.

"EDUCAUSE values the leveraging of knowledge, approaching complex issues together rather than separately, and thus supports the use of information technology—as a tool, a discipline, and a mindset—to foster the common good in higher education and society."

Colleges and universities strive to expand the boundaries of what is known and what is knowable, thereby improving the common good. They also apply that knowledge to making the world a better place. Advancing the common good through the collective production, dissemination, stewardship, and application of knowledge is fundamental to higher education.

Technology—"the practical application of knowledge, especially in a particular area" (Merriam-Webster Online)—has been both a critical tool and a primary outcome of the knowledge work of colleges and universities. As consumers and also producers of technology, higher education institutions envision and create advances in every field of human endeavor, extending the common good. The dramatic evolution of information technology has led to entirely new industries and modes of interaction.

EDUCAUSE believes in focusing on what we all have in common and in sharing and leveraging this knowledge in ways that benefit the larger society—the common good. We manifest this value in several ways:

  • We share information, with members and nonmembers worldwide, in the belief that greater knowledge benefits us all.
  • We share knowledge about information technology and also, just as important, about its application to the complex challenges facing higher education and society.
  • We look beyond the application of technology to the new models, paradigms, and transformative concepts that can make the world a better place.

The EDUCAUSE focus on thought leadership, on putting IT into practice, and on career development contributes to the common good by advancing higher education, the IT profession, and the individual. EDUCAUSE works to enable higher education IT leaders and professionals to advance the common good across their campuses, their communities, and the world at large. Along with the EDUCAUSE values of innovation and openness, this commitment is expressed by how EDUCAUSE members help to achieve it—through "uncommon thinking for the common good."

EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 46, no. 1 (January/February 2011)