principles of community banner

Principles of Community

Respect. Equity. Learning. Community.

For the video transcript, visit the "UC Davis Campus Leadership Reaffirms the Principles of Community" story. 

The Principles of Community are connected to UC Davis policies. Please click on the hyperlinks below to see its connections to UC Davis policies and potential consequences for policy violations.


UC Davis is a diverse community comprised of individuals having many perspectives and identities.  We come from a multitude of backgrounds and experiences, with distinct needs and goals.  We recognize that to create an inclusive and intellectually vibrant community, we must understand and value both our individual differences and our common ground.  The UC Davis Principles of Community is an aspirational statement that embodies this commitment, and reflects the ideals we seek to uphold.

Principles of Community Statement

The University of California, Davis, is first and foremost an institution of learning, teaching, research and public service.  UC Davis reflects and is committed to serving the needs of a global society comprising all people and a multiplicity of identities. The university expects that every member of our community acknowledge, value, and practice the following guiding principles.

We affirm the dignity inherent in all of us, and we strive to maintain a climate of equity and justice demonstrated by respect for one another. We acknowledge that our society carries within it historical and deep-rooted injustices and biases. Therefore, we endeavor to foster mutual understanding and respect among the many parts of our whole.

We affirm the right of freedom of expression within our community.  We affirm our commitment to non-violent exchange and the highest standards of conduct and decency toward all. Within this context we reject violence in all forms. We promote open expression of our individuality and our diversity within the bounds of courtesy, sensitivity and respect.  We further recognize the right of every individual to think, speak, express and debate any idea limited only by university regulations governing time, place and manner.

We confront and reject all manifestations of discrimination, including those based on race, ethnicity, gender and gender expression, age, visible and non-visible disability, nationality, sexual orientation, citizenship status, veteran status, religious/non-religious, spiritual, or political beliefs, socio-economic class, status within or outside the university, or any of the other differences among people which have been excuses for misunderstanding, dissension or hatred.  We recognize and cherish the richness contributed to our lives by our diversity.  We take pride in all our achievements, and we celebrate our differences.

We recognize that each of us has an obligation to the UC Davis community of which we have chosen to be a part. We will strive to build and maintain a culture and climate based on mutual respect and caring.


  • History
  • UC Davis is a diverse community composed of individuals having many perspectives and abilities, of many faiths, cultures, ethnicities, races and orientations. We come from a multitude of backgrounds and experiences, with distinct needs and goals. We recognize that to create an inclusive and intellectually vibrant community, we must understand and value both our individual differences and our common ground. The UC Davis Principles of Community embody this commitment and the ideals to which we aspire.

    A wide spectrum of campus constituents worked together over 18 months to write the Principles of Community. Contributors included: Associated Students of UC Davis (ASUCD); Academic Senate; Academic Senate Committee on Affirmative Action; Academic Senate EOP/SAA Committee; Academic Staff Organization; Staff Assembly of UC Davis; Staff Assembly of the UC Davis Medical Center.

    At the time, there was a national interest in developing community values statements. Departments and colleges at other universities wrote similar statements, but UC Davis was the first to implement a campuswide policy. The authors intended to make a strong statement about UC Davis' community values. They incorporated regard for freedom of expression, mutual respect and equal treatment in the document.

    Initially, ASUCD and Student Housing each adopted a version of the Principles specific to their departments. Shortly thereafter, the Academic Senate unanimously approved the Principles. Institutionally, the chancellor, ASUCD president, and the chairs of the Academic Senate, UCD Staff Assembly, Graduate Student Association, UCDMC Staff Assembly and the Academic Staff Organization first signed the Principles of Community in April 1990. These and other campus entities reaffirmed the Principles in 1996 and 2001, 2008 and 2010. The Principles were revised and once again reaffirmed in 2015.

    To celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the Principles, a "4 words" social media campaign asked peope to choose four words from the Principles that resonated most. The vote was for the words respect, equity, learning and community.
  • Integration into University Life
  • The Principles are publicized broadly in a variety of contexts including the UC Davis General Catalog, student organization registration materials, student and staff employee training and conflict resolution responses. They are also integrated into campus programs such as Summer Advising, the Campus Community Book Project, Student Housing and the Fall Convocation.

    The Principles serve as a broad and inclusive statement of expected behavior. Further, they reinforce the university setting as an open and fair marketplace of ideas. The Principles are not law or policy but a basis to form a shared vision of our campus community.
  • Choices in Applying the Principles of Community
  • The UC Davis Principles of Community set forth ideals and expectations for campus interactions. Members of our community are expected to treat each other with respect and dignity, to refrain from displays of inappropriate anger or intimidating conduct, to shun epithets or abusive language, and to find effective means to disagree, to persuade and to inform through rational discussion. Although the Principles of Community are not enforced by punishment unless the act is a crime or breach of conduct standards, the Principles provide guidance for addressing the full range of behavior and interactions

While the Principles of Community are not official University of California, Davis policy; the Principles are connected to existing policies. The Principles do not do not replace existing policies, procedures or codes of conduct.

You can find a Policy Quick Reference for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion here:

Additional information regarding UC Davis administrative policies and procedures is available on the Administrative Policy website at and official policies can be accessed at