Core Values, A Touchstone of Commitment and Resilience

January 27, 2021

Dear Colleagues, Students, and Friends of Eagleton:

2020 will be remembered as a calamitous year in American history.  Public health remains under threat, social justice remains an elusive ideal, and our form of government has been — literally — under siege. The future of democracy is, for many, an open question. At Eagleton, we remain committed to answering that open question by recommitting emphatically to our mission to study politics, inspire engagement, and improve democracy. Our work has never been more relevant; our commitment to it has never been stronger.

We are sustained in that commitment by the core values we have embraced. I am proud and grateful to the team of 23 Eagleton faculty, staff, and students—with critical early support and leadership from Visiting Associate Richard Roper—who dedicated countless hours over several months to thoughtful dialogue and development of these core values as well as to practical recommendations for how to embed and embody them in our work. I look forward to moving this long-term, sustained effort forward and encourage all members of our community, particularly when times are contentious and doubts creep in, to mark these core values and return to them as a touchstone of commitment and resilience.

The Eagleton Institute of Politics is committed as an institution to the following:

  • Cultivating access and empowerment within the Institute and, by extension, our political system. We seek to identify and remove barriers to access and promote inclusion, which relies on our active and intentional efforts to remedy power inequities.
  • Affirming the humanity of all people irrespective of their historic marginalization, identity, or socioeconomic status, through our teaching, research, and programming. We center historically marginalized voices and oppose policies and practices that discriminate against anyone on the basis of these historic and present realities.
  • Engaging in critical examination of systems of power and governance, including the ideals for, and practice of, democracy.
  • Promoting open and respectful exchange of ideas and perspectives that abides by the values listed above and preserves the safety and well-being of all participants.
  • Fostering interest in, and promoting, a broad range of engagement in politics, communities, and public service, by all members of society, especially our students.

I hope you will join us in the hard work ahead as we aim to create the future of our democracy.

John J. Farmer, Jr.
Eagleton Institute of Politics