Principles and Practices

Principles of the College of Agricultural Sciences*

  • Decisions are built from the ground up.
  • It is more important to develop cooperative solutions than to win negotiations.
  • Stick to your word.
  • Seek the positive interpretation of situations.
  • Try to understand the long-term consequences of a decision before making it.
  • It is tough to get anything done without taking risks.
  • One does not need to manage every detail of a system, but it is important to have a pretty good understanding of the system and why it is there.
  • We are committed to honesty, integrity and transparency in all of our dealings.
Practices that we embrace Key points in each practice
Manage our conversations so they are effective One conversation at a time.
One person speaking at a time.
Someone managing the conversation.
Be clear about the outcomes and the process.
Be definitive about closure: Where are we? What happens next?
Listen respectfully and generously Pay attention to what the person is saying.
Allow people to finish.
If you have any doubt that you understood, always verify your understanding.
Acknowledge-and truly consider-different perspectives.
Check for completion: Is the person finished? Is there anything else?
Communicate with each other completely If we aren't aligned, say so.
If something doesen't work, say so.
Make and keep commitments with one another Be specific about what the commitments are.
Use X by Y (who will do what by when).
Call if your commitment is in danger of not being fulfilled.
Be on each other's side Manage each other's reputation.
Be supportive and helpful.
Be inclusive, invite people who may have an interest or may want to contribute.
Look out for the interests of our group and our University.
Acknowledge and appreciate each other Look for what can be acknowledged: tell people what you appreciate, and what they have done.
Practice acknowledgement frequently.
Be authentic.
Be aligned on our strategic intent and current projects If we are not aligned, communicate.
If progress slows or stops, acknowledge it.
Keep resources and energies focused.
Always be looking to stop low-impact programs and activities.
Transparency and sharing information

Ask for what you need.
Anticipate what others in the group might want to know.
If asked for information, share everything you know.

*Original Principles and Practices for the College of Agricultural Sciences, 1998, The Agenda of the College of Agricultural Sciences, Thayne R. Dutson, Dean.  Reaffirmed in May 2014. 
PDF of Principles and Practices, "The Salmon Sheet"


Our powerful group...

  • made up of people who commit and deliver
  • ...produces results
  • ...respects the individual
  • ...handles disagreements
  • ...has personal energies focused on common good
  • ...manages its reputation
  • clear about decision processes
  • able to declare "breakdown" and address it
  • ...has conversations about what doesn't work
  • responsible for its effect on the world in which it operates
  • ...calls something a mistake only if we haven't learned from it
  • ...has fun together

College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University