As we wrap up Labor Day weekend, we also wrap up the summer. Many schools and campuses are back in session already, while others will begin in September. At this time of the year, it is a good time to reflect on the question - what is the main message we want to send to our students, our faculty, our administrators and ourselves? At UC San Diego, that message is "excel with integrity". At a highly competitive university like UC San Diego, it is important to remind the entire community that there can be no excellence without integrity.

There can be no excellence without trustworthiness, honesty, fairness, respect or responsibility because if these values are undermined, we've undercut the labored movement of education and higher education for all. We've undercut the labor that was borne of the people who came before us to set the path of opportunity to be excellent. And we've undercut the labor market that depends on the diplomas and degrees to mean something - to be representative of our integrity, our knowledge, and our skills. width=

But this media post is to remind us that even though this is a serious message, we don't always have to be boring, mature,or scholastic. So, at UC San Diego, we like to use a caricature of my dog Barley as our symbol of the hero who is inside all of us - the hero who does have the courage to excel with integrity and stand on the pillars of honesty, fairness, respect, responsibility and trustworthiness.

Happy Labor Day. Woof, woof