Creating and maintaining departmental foundational documents provides an opportunity for members of your program or department to reflect on, define, and state your department’s identity and values. Foundational documents form the groundwork for strategic planning (see the section on How to Create and Use a Strategic Plan) and program review (see the section on How to Undertake an Undergraduate Program Review), and contextualize (see the section on How to Assess Student Learning at the Program Level). The process of constructing and revising foundational documents provides an opportunity to build consensus within your department on priorities and directions, and to ensure these are aligned with institutional goals, directions, and values. These documents can help focus efforts of faculty and staff, prioritize resource investments, distinguish among competing priorities when making difficult choices, and plan for the future. The documents help forge strong relationships with your institution’s leaders by aligning the core values and priorities of your department with those of your institution. Foundational documents can also help department leaders clearly articulate your department’s needs and advocate for support and resources. Students benefit from being in a department that uses such documents to guide and support improvement efforts. These documents can also be used to share your department’s mission, vision, and values when recruiting students and faculty, and when engaging in fundraising.