Helping UNT Health Science Center find its “true north” on values

Fri, Jun 27, 2014

Around Campus

Values Wkshop -- Michele Reynolds, Armando Rosas Tostado

Armando Rosas Tostado (right), Facilities Management, discusses values with Michele Reynolds, Vice Chair of the UNTHSC Foundation, Chair of the Healthy Aging Council and community volunteer.


A very special team gathered for two days off-campus last week with a very special mission: To develop the set of values and behaviors that will guide UNT Health Science Center for many years to come.

The meeting room buzzed with anticipation as 47 teammates from all levels throughout UNTHSC, joined by three community leaders who volunteer for the university, met together as the Values Blueprint Workout Team.

They reviewed survey and focus group results, created drafts, debated (some even called it “battled”) for points they thought would best represent the UNTHSC team.

Their work, which will be shared with the entire UNTHSC community in coming days and weeks, will serve as the foundation upon which the Health Science Center answers the fundamental question of what it stands for.

“We are building a brand-new culture for the Health Science Center,” President Michael Williams told the group. “If we get this part right, we will be successful far beyond our wildest dreams.”

Chief People Officer Steven Sosland said the group’s task was to develop markers that will help UNTHSC keep its bearings and make better decisions in a world of conflicting priorities.

“Everyone has a true north, an internal compass that points in the direction of our true values – who we are, what we believe. Your job is to help this institution find its true north,” Sosland said.

The values document will be rolled out this summer through a series of “listening tours” to smaller groups across campus. UNTHSC leaders and Values Team leaders will listen to responses and answer questions.

Andrew Harmon at Values Blueprint Workshop

Toni Kilpatrick, System College of Pharmacy; Leah Hamrick, Lewis Library; and Andrea Gordon, Student Affairs; listen as Andrew Harman, Office of Strategy & Measurement, makes a point.


The values group was selected by UNTHSC’s Executive Team and by the Values Steering Committee that has been shepherding the values development process that Sosland refers to as “Our Values Journey.”

They were selected to represent all segments of the UNTHSC community and to reflect a wide range of perspectives, responsibilities and backgrounds.

The values group was aided by Gayle Watson and Shannon Mick from People Ink of Albuquerque, N.M.

As the Values Team worked, members kept in mind the results of a campus survey to which more than 830 UNTHSC teammates responded and of a number of focus groups in which almost 300 participated. The top values mentioned in those endeavors were integrity, teamwork/collaboration, compassion/caring, respect, honesty, trust and excellence.

Aspects of each of those concepts will be included in the final values document.

After the team agreed on specific values, team members defined them and developed a short list of behaviors that will allow each of us to know when we are living our values.

Values Team members voiced pride in what they accomplished.

Said Christine Moranetz, Chair of Public Health Education: “We reached consensus, which was phenomenal. It was energizing. It was exciting. It was infectious. It was exhausting. But it was good, and we’re so excited about helping this institution move forward with a set of values that not only we can believe in, but that will help us excel at everything we do.”

Kim Hankins, Assistant Director of the Rural Community Medicine program, said members came to the workshop with their own ideas and, in the end, came to trust the wisdom of the group.

Chelsea Derry, Student Services Coordinator, praised the grassroots nature of the workshop.  “Everyone was an even player in this,” she said. “Everyone was heard, everyone feels validated. I’m just really excited.”

Sosland said the groups’ work will have a lasting impact.

“The work you’ve done here,” he said, “will change lives, and it will change this institution.”

Values Blueprint Workout Team Photo

The UNTHSC Values Blueprint Workout Team



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