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Our Values

In Our Time to Lead, 14 values were established as being critical to propelling that plan and TMU forward. These values remain fundamental to the work of the university community, and are now expressed as seven core values in the 2020-25 Academic Plan.

Underpinning all seven values is academic freedom. At the heart of what it means to be a university, academic freedom provides us with the liberty to think critically, explore and exchange new ideas, and evaluate and challenge norms and preconceptions. It is a cornerstone of knowledge creation. We unequivocally embrace freedom of thought and expression in support of teaching, learning and SRC. Building a community where we can speak, write, critique and otherwise articulate ideas and perspectives provides a foundation for all that we do.

Woven throughout these values is a commitment to examine and challenge the status quo and identify where and how we can do things differently. Going forward, we remain committed to being bold in our thinking, actions and decisions as an academic institution, and in how we live our values every day.

Our values are not simply aspirational statements captured in a document; they are to be lived across all aspects of university life. Collectively, these values give shape to the university's identity and provide the foundation for scholarship that equips our students to succeed.

The quad

"[TMU] champions creativity, innovation and ingenuity, encouraging students, faculty and staff to think boldly, take initiative and demonstrate resourcefulness."

Academic Plan 2020-25
Two female students at convocation holding their degrees

We aspire to excellence in all our work, both inside and outside the classroom, in a way that is positive and authentic. Inclusive excellence means that a commitment to inclusion is infused throughout TMU, from recruiting and admissions to curriculum development, faculty and staff hiring, administrative structures and leadership. At the same time, a focus on inclusion informs the ways in which we measure or assess excellence. Overall, TMU’s commitment to providing an exceptional postsecondary experience depends on the actions and accomplishments of the entire university community.

Students collaborating around a computer

Equity and diversity are essential components of a modern, accessible post-secondary institution. Teaching, learning and SRC at TMU are influenced by the diversity of ideas and experiences that members of our community bring. A major strength of our university comes from the diversity in our TMU family, which reflects the very essence of Toronto, the diverse, multicultural community we call home. Additionally, we recognize the relationship between the social and physical environment and disability, focussing on solutions to remove barriers. All students, staff and faculty are respected and appreciated as valuable members of the TMU community, and a commitment to equity is embedded in our everyday thinking and actions.

Two female students sit in the SLC

Respect and a commitment to shared success underpin how we work together and how we treat one another. Collaboration for mutual success shapes our work and the ways in which we measure achievement. While our daily activities might be largely independent, there is value in working toward common goals. Mutual respect must be evident in the way we communicate our ideas, how we debate and listen to each other, how we lead and make decisions, how we conduct ourselves, and how we articulate and comprehend our identities in all their diverse forms. Learning can be transformative but can also, naturally, generate discomfort – it is important, therefore, to create safe spaces for difficult conversations. Healthy discussion, where differing viewpoints are expressed, is a cornerstone of higher education. That discussion is most effective when it occurs with integrity, responsibility and respect.

An aerial view of the urban farm.

Sustainability involves behaving in ways that reflect our responsibility to future generations. Sustainability also means taking meaningful action to protect the environment and being fiscally responsible while ensuring a high-quality, student-centred experience. TMU is committed to pursuing environmental, social and economic sustainability through our academic programs, SRC activities, built environment, operations and policies. We recognize our individual and collective responsibility for our campus, our community and our planet.

Two students stand in the Fashion Design Lab

The university champions creativity, innovation and ingenuity, encouraging students, faculty and staff to think boldly, take initiative and demonstrate resourcefulness. This includes civic, cultural and social advancements that enrich society’s fabric, improve quality of life and drive responsible change. This is how we approach all our work, from how curriculum is developed and taught, to how services and systems are delivered to support the operation of the university.

Two students working on a laptop in the Student Learning Centre

TMU is committed to the success of its community by creating a safe, secure, collegial, healthy, and inclusive environment that puts people first, is supportive of the whole person and enhances the development of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Wellbeing is fundamental to positive social and academic outcomes and healthy communities. It focuses on the strengths individuals bring to our community, honouring and learning from each person’s lived experiences. It involves creating welcoming, accessible and accommodating work, learning, and social environments.

Indigenous dancers wearing regalia lead a group of school children around the quad

Access to education can transform lives and communities. TMU is committed to providing access to education and employment opportunities for students, faculty and staff, particularly those from marginalized, under-represented and equity-seeking groups. Access includes lifelong learning, expanding our individual and collective horizons through professional development and learning opportunities that meet students’ needs. Building on a principle of shared responsibilities, TMU continues to create an environment where barriers to participation can be removed. We foster partnerships across the institution that make education more accessible to all students.