Being Highlander

Your heart beats to the tune of bagpipes and your brain hums with innovation. You’ve got Tartan Soul. Four qualities that show the world you’re a Highlander: Integrity, Accountability, Excellence and Respect. To demonstrate your Tartan Soul, you must act with integrity; be accountable individually and to others for your ethical conduct; strive for excellence; and respect the rights and dignity of others.

As a UCR student, you’ve always exhibited these values. (You wouldn’t have been accepted to UCR if you hadn’t!) But as you mature and take on more responsibility, you’re going to see how adhering to these important values – the “core four” of Tartan Soul – will help you to earn the trust and respect of others, work more effectively and efficiently, and succeed in ways you never imagined.

When Soul Was Born

In 2005, the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) put forth a Statement of Ethical Values. The UC Regents recognized and adopted the four values: integrity, accountability, excellence and respect. UCR embraced these values with the Tartan Soul campaign, created by the Student Life Orientation Team.

In 2009, the campaign debuted at UCR’s Bear Facts summer orientation program. During orientation, all incoming first year students were introduced to the four values by the Dean of Students and given tartan lapel pins.

The Dean explained each value and provided examples of students embodying Tartan Soul. Each value was linked to one of the four colors of the UCR Tartan: integrity (blue), accountability (white), excellence (gold), and respect (black). Throughout that summer, the campaign experienced huge success.

Now it’s time to make the Tartan Soul campaign bigger and better. We’re asking students, faculty and staff to promote Tartan Soul. Find new ways to show your soul; nominate people who exhibit the four values; and wear UCR’s tartan whenever possible.

Tartan Soul Spotlights

Great Highlanders walk among us. Students, faculty and staff who demonstrate integrity, accountability, excellence, and respect. Their deeds build UCR’s reputation and make the campus brighter. Acknowledge these efforts by placing them in the Tartan Soul spotlight.

To nominate a UCR student, faculty or staff member, email Student Life at Make sure to use the subject “Tartan Soul Nomination” and provide the following information:

  • Name of Nominee
  • Nominee’s contact email
  • Classification: Student, Faculty or Staff
  • Anticipated Graduation Year (Students only)
  • Major(s)/Minor(s) (Students only)
  • Department (Faculty/Staff only)
  • Which of the four values you’re nominating he/she for and why
  • Your name and contact email

Check back often to see who’s in the spotlight and find out why they were selected.

We've Got Soul!

Bare Your Soul

As a student, you can represent Tartan Soul by exhibiting integrity, accountability, excellence and respect; wearing the UCR tartan lapel pin and tartan apparel to remind people you’re a Highlander; and using UCR and Student Life resources to promote the campaign.

If you’re a staff or faculty member, you can participate through your department. We need departments to incorporate Tartan Soul branding into programming. Set up a meeting with Student Life for creative ways to use Tartan Soul. Also, let us know if you’re already using the branding or would like to help create new programs/resources for the campaign.


Spread the word about Tartan Soul by wearing the gear below. These shirts are available during select R'Day Giveaways and key Student Life events, so check them all out! For more information, email student life.


Wear You Want To Be

2016 Tartan Soul Respect Shirt


Fall 2016 T-Shirt


Winter 2017 T-Shirt


Spring 2017 T-Shirt


2016-17 T-Shirt

Tartan Soul Partners

Get In Touch

Let's Talk

As the creators of Tartan Soul, we love talking about it. Feel free to email us when you have questions, want to get involved in the campaign, or wish to nominate a student, faculty or staff member.

Want to talk face to face? Stop by Student Life in HUB 229 (between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and ask to speak to an Orientation team member.


Student Life
Highlander Union Building #229
900 University Avenue
Riverside, CA 92521
(951) 827-1012