Preview the transformed vision for the Yale student experience

“Eat, sleep, play, pray, and pay”-- that’s how I often refer to what’s covered by the term “student life,” the programs and services that support students’ experiences outside the classroom.


But just take a moment to think how radically even one aspect of that experience has changed over the years—from a one-size (and taste) fits-all dining hall (in Yale’s case, designed for “1000 Yale men”) to myriad options, now offered, that are designed to meet the needs of diverse students at different points of their academic and professional development.


And even though each school, department, and program within Yale has its own mission, culture, and ethos, there are outcomes of the experience outside the classroom, lab, or library that are the same for every student. This new reality of student life demands a new holistic vision.


That's why, during the past academic year, a group of 60 Yale Student Life administrators met to outline a vision for the experience of every student and postdoctoral scholar—and what we might do collectively to support it.


Our working group represented each of the academic units and programs as well as central offices that provide services to support physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, inclusivity, and safety. Student leaders were included on at least two occasions.


The result: the first ever university-wide mission and vision for life outside the classroom.


Our mission:


To define, develop, and support a consistent Yale student experience that enables all students to take full advantage of their educational programs.


Our vision:


All undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and scholars will have a Yale experience that enables them to:


·      Explore the breadth of their intellectual curiosity, the depth of their humanity, and the rigor of purposeful scholarship or creative practice;

·      Take responsibility for their personal growth and development, seeking well-being and balance in their lives;

·      Cultivate their connections to others, the University community, New Haven, our society, and the larger world; and

·      Prepare for a lifetime characterized by learning, service, and ethical conduct


This mission and vision is the basis for how university programs and services will adapt to changing student bodies—and evolving environments. We will continue to refine our goals with the help of our academic partners and student leaders.


We have adopted the view that we need to think about our own work in relation to school or department and university-wide goals just as we plan to continue to focus on individual students and groups of students


We are committed to educating ourselves about the micro-communities, academic and otherwise, that make up Yale, and to anticipate and respond to their needs.


In the end, it is our hope that, in partnership with faculty, students, staff, and other administrators, we will create a welcoming and inclusive environment that supports students and scholars at every step of their educational journey.


With the greater complexity of student life and the greater diversity of the student population we serve, it’s the right time to speak to a larger vision. I’ll welcome your comments on the mission and vision and will continue to share specific ways in which this new vision is transforming student life and in particular, the work of my office into the future. And I look forward to your sharing your thoughts and ideas in this space.