Our Culture

The Culture of the Wynn Institute for Vision Research at the University of Iowa

  • We try to apply the ethic of reciprocity (the golden rule) to everything that we do.
  • We take our work very seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
  • We communicate with each other frequently, and use that communication to create a shared vision of our shared mission. The pursuit of this mission is our number 1 professional goal.
  • We know that the pursuit of a worthy goal in a collaborative fashion is such an efficient and enjoyable way to work that it will always result in more total progress than if each of the members works alone.
  • We know that a collaborative approach will also result in more personal rewards for each of the members of the group.
  • We operate in a horizontal structure such that most of the time we are working WITH each other instead for FOR someone.
  • Each member of the group needs to be able to lead well but they also need to be able to participate effectively and enthusiastically when they are not the leader.
  • We have an abundance mentality instead of a scarcity mentality. We believe in creating more for everyone instead of fighting over a fixed or shrinking pie.
  • We put at LEAST as much into the collaboration as we take out—financially, creatively, and administratively.
  • We believe in the career development of new faculty members.
  • We treat our trainees as colleagues and future peers. We are not threatened by their success or progress, but rather view their accomplishments as the desirable result of our teaching and guidance.
  • We maintain a perspective of privilege instead of one of entitlement.
  • We feel the need to earn our spot in the lab, in the classroom, and in the clinic every day, by
    honestly striving to be the best at what we do.
  • When we do retire or move to another institution, we feel that we should leave this institution better off than it was before we came.
  • We believe that samples, photographs, and data that are collected under the auspices of the institution and through the efforts of our group are an institutional resource and we will share these resources with other scientists in the institution.
  • Although we greatly value the individuals who make up our group, we believe that in most cases, an idea, a paper, or a grant can be significantly improved by sharing it with one or more other people.
  • We value the support and advice of our colleagues.
  • We trust our colleagues to be honest with us and we value that honesty.
  • We turn to each other for help and advice when we need it and provide help and advice in return when it is sought.
  • We are optimistic, believing in each other and in ourselves.
  • We intend to, and we will, succeed.