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WSCUC Standard 1:

Defining Institutional Purposes and Ensuring Educational Objectives

• Institutional Purposes

• Integrity

• Transparency

The institution defines its purposes and establishes educational objectives aligned with those purposes. The institution has a clear and explicit sense of its essential values and character, its distinctive elements, its place in both the higher education community and society, and its contribution to the public good. It functions with integrity, transparency, and autonomy.



Institutional Purposes

Criteria for Review

1.1 — The institution’s formally approved statements of purpose are appropriate for an institution of higher education and clearly define its essential values and character and ways in which it contributes to the public good.

TSRI Mission Statement
The Scripps Research Institute is dedicated to the creation of basic knowledge in the biosciences for medical application and the betterment of human health; the pursuit of fundamental scientific advances through interdisciplinary programs and collaboration; and the education and training of researchers from around the world preparing to meet the scientific challenges of the future.

TSRI Graduate Program Mission Statement
The mission of the Program is to train the next generation of scientists at the interface of biological and chemical sciences for productive careers in the global economy.  

1.2 — Educational objectives are widely recognized throughout the institution, are consistent with stated purposes, and are demonstrably achieved. The institution regularly generates, evaluates, and makes public data about student achievement, including measures of retention and graduation, and evidence of student learning.

When students matriculate into TSRI's Graduate Program, they do not join a department. Instead, students choose from five curricular tracks, any of which can be as focused or as interdisciplinary as they wish. Students have access to the entire curriculum and the entire faculty affiliated with the Graduate Program regardless of the faculty member’s department. This approach allows students to be broadly trained in the area of scientific exploration and emphasizes the creation of basic knowledge in the biosciences.

Our program can be divided into two parts, coursework and research. The coursework was designed to bring students to the forefront of knowledge and prepare them to meet the scientific challenges of the next century. The second component of the program is research. There are more than 160 Graduate Program faculty working in a broad range of fields. The Graduate Program encourages a collaborative research environment, which provides a rich educational experience for students. Students are encouraged to interact with faculty and be the catalyst for new collaborations.

To view up-to-date information demonstrating measures of retention and graduation, learning outcomes and scientific accomplishments of TSRI doctoral students, use the following link to visit our Student Achievement page.

Integrity and Transparency

Criteria for Review

1.3 — The institution publicly states its commitment to academic freedom for faculty, staff, and students, and acts accordingly. This commitment affirms that those in the academy are free to share their convictions and responsible conclusions with their colleagues and students in their teaching and writing.

The following is an excerpt from the Faculty Handbook, which was approved and ratified by the Board of Trustees in March 2002. It states, "The following are believed to be the inviolate tenets governing the conduct of responsible scientists at TSRI:

    • The freedom of scientific pursuit and the absolute right to exchange ideas.
    • The responsibility to conform to the highest ethical standards of scientific and professional conduct.
    • The conduct of research in a responsible and accountable manner.
    • The encouragement of the application of discoveries for the benefit of society."

1.4 — Consistent with its purposes and character, the institution demonstrates an appropriate response to the increasing diversity in society through its policies, its educational and co-curricular programs, its hiring and admissions criteria, and its administrative and organizational practices.

The Scripps Research Institute Graduate Program publishes its policy on diversity on its Web site. In short, the school is committed to diversity and admits students regardless of nationality, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, sex, citizenship or disability. In support of this policy, the school has developed an Office of Educational Outreach, which strives to diversify the professoriate by engaging the community and offering innovative educational programs.

The mission of these Academic Preparation and Educational Outreach Programs is to utilize the intellectual and material resources at The Scripps Research Institute to recruit and train the next generation of scientists. As part of this mission, The Scripps Research Institute is committed to increasing the participation of female, underrepresented minority, and first-generation college-bound students in the biomedical and chemical sciences.

Click here to find a list of recruiting events TSRI Graduate Program administrators attend to promote its educational outreach and graduate programs.

1.5 — Even when supported by or affiliated with governmental, corporate, or religious organizations, the institution has education as its primary purpose and operates as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy.

The Scripps Research Institute is a not-for-profit, public benefit corporation organized under the laws of the State of California. The Institute is dedicated to the acquisition and dissemination of scientific knowledge. TSRI is not affiliated with any political, corporate or religious organization.

1.6 — The institution truthfully represents its academic goals, programs, services, and costs to students and to the larger public. The institution demonstrates that its academic programs can be completed in a timely fashion. The institution treats students fairly and equitably through established policies and procedures addressing student conduct, grievances, human subjects in research, disability, and financial matters, including refunds and financial aid.

The Scripps Research Institute Graduate Program publishes its policies and procedures in the Student Handbook, a hard copy of which is given to new students during orientation in the fall. The Student Handbook is also available online via TSRI's on-campus, bicoastal Intranet Web site.

1.7 — The institution exhibits integrity and transparency in its operations, as demonstrated by the adoption and implementation of appropriate policies and procedures, sound business practices, timely and fair responses to complaints and grievances, and regular evaluation of its performance in these areas. The institution’s finances are regularly audited by qualified independent auditors.

The Scripps Research Institute Graduate Program publishes its policies and procedures in the Student Handbook. During orientation in the fall, students are given a hard copy of the Student Handbook. It can also be accessed on the intranet. (see CFR 1.6 above)

TSRI takes complaints of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and other employment-related issues. A comprehensive description of the policy and process can be found on TSRI's Human Resources Web site.

The Scripps Research Institute prepares regular financial statements, which are audited by qualified independent auditors.

1.8 — The institution is committed to honest and open communication with the Accrediting Commission; to undertaking the accreditation review process with seriousness and candor; to informing the Commission promptly of any matter that could materially affect the accreditation status of the institution; and to abiding by Commission policies and procedures, including all substantive change policies.

The Scripps Research Institute and the TSRI Graduate Program comply with all of WSCUC's policies.