N – Northern
C – Caribbean
U – University
C – Christ-centredness
A – Affirmation
R – Respect
E – Excellence
S – Stewardship
In August of 2008, during its biannual colloquium session, Northern Caribbean University adopted the acronym “NCU C.A.R.E.S.”, as crafted by a focus group. Starting from the premise that NCU cares, each letter of the word CARES was assigned a specific meaning, which meanings now constitute the core values of the university. CARES seeks to inform the way we interact with all our stakeholders.
Christ-centredness means that all that we do, we do as Jesus Christ would. He is our acknowledged head, and is placed in charge of all that we do. You will therefore find that all our classes, for example, are preceded with a devotional focus, as the Holy Spirit is invoked into the classroom. We embrace the concept of faith and learning and seek to underpin all our lessons with biblical principles. Another aspect of our Christ-centredness is that service learning is also integrated in the classroom experience, albeit that the related activities take place in the community and not inside the classroom. We seek to foster the spirit of volunteerism.
When we affirm we choose to focus on and highlight the positive attributes of those around. If we must speak to anything, which may not be a commendation, we do so with a positive and mentoring attitude; never with the intention to embarrass, but to bring out the best in each individual. So when someone does something well we commend, we congratulate, we affirm. When the action is not praiseworthy we correct, we counsel, we motivate.
For us this begins with self respect. This, we believe, gives us the capacity to respect others and to also be respected by others. The Golden Rule applies here as well – we respect others as we respect ourselves or as we desire them to respect us. This will manifest itself in such ways as teachers being on time for classes, and students showing up on time as well. Deadlines will be observed. The timbre and tone of our regular speech and the mode of our dress and conduct will be tempered by Christian graces, while accommodating the sensibilities of those we interface with.
Orison Swett Marden says, “Just make up your mind at the very outset that your work is going to stand for quality... that you are going to stamp a superior quality upon everything that goes out of your hands, that whatever you do shall bear the hall-mark of excellence.” In other words, excellence is a choice, and that is what we have decided on at Northern Caribbean University. Like Booker T. Washington we have committed ourselves to finding uncommon ways to do a common thing. Our teachers will therefore go the extra mile, and our students will go there with them and will do well. We will exceed our customers’ expectation every time. We believe that whereas Jesus has challenged us to be perfect, even as our Father in Heaven is perfect, He expects that we will be similarly excellent in our ways as our heavenly Father is – it is a Christian thing.
At the heart of stewardship is accountability. There is accountability to God. God is creator and owner of everything and that includes us. As such, we are answerable to Him for all we do. There is accountability to others. In a university environment there are multiple relationships, all of which are wired with reasonable expectations we have of each other, which expectations if not met will constitute a breach of trust and integrity. It is a matter of stewardship or the lack thereof when we fail to fail to meet these expectations. Then there is accountability to self. We owe to ourselves to make the best use of all opportunities that come our way. This will spear us the many regrets which we may otherwise experience. It enhances our relationships and makes the work environment a more pleasant one to be in. We will also experience greater personal satisfaction and fulfilment, while receiving the affirmation of our supervisors and peers, and the ultimate declaration of “Well done” from our Lord.