Institutional Culture Hero

Institutional Culture Initiative



GW strives to create a positive and rewarding environment for students, faculty, staff and alumni. The university’s institutional culture has a profound effect on the experience of each of these groups. It should foster and maintain a commitment to service, engagement, belonging and respect, improving the experience of every GW community member.





  • Goal 1: Create a team that represents the interests and experiences of students, faculty, staff and alumni to support the initiative and drive its progress.
  • Goal 2: Identify several process areas that can be quickly improved to have an immediate and positive impact on service.
  • Goal 3: Perform an assessment of GW institutional culture, using surveys and other research tools.
  • Goal 4: Explore avenues to increase student, faculty, staff and alumni engagement to continue to grow a sense of community and belonging.
  • Goal 5: Determine ways to build a stronger sense of community across GW by increasing university identity.




Initiative Accomplishments


  • Staff Performance Management Changes Implemented
    Unified review cycle for all staff, online forms and more frequent check-ins aim to improve process, enhance institutional culture.

  • New Shuttles Debut on Campus
    The university now operates new shuttles that service the Foggy Bottom, Mount Vernon and Virginia Science and Technology campuses—complete with an unmistakable GW look.

  • Longer Winter Break Announced
    In January 2018, GW announced it would implement a longer winter holiday break as an enhancement to its benefits offerings.

  • Group Established to Discuss Principles, Strategy
    A team of university leaders has convened to develop guiding principles and determine an assessment strategy.

  • New Employee Orientation to Be Refreshed
    Over the course of spring 2018, Human Resources is implementing a comprehensive orientation and onboarding program for new employees that will introduce them to the community and ensure that they feel connected to the university and its goals.




Initiative Sponsor

Mark Diaz

"A university's culture is about values and behavior, which means it is about people—all of us. It is critical to first assess, or diagnose, our institutional culture. This goes beyond anecdotes to look at how we work together across the university and how we interact with the broader GW community. This is a big endeavor, and it is key that everyone participates. I'm very excited to join this effort, and to be part of this vibrant community."

Mark Diaz Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer


Get in Touch

If you have a story of progress or suggestion related to this initiative, please submit it below. Your feedback is shared directly with the team charged with managing this initiative's progress.​​​​​​​ We look forward to hearing from you.