National Events and Our Continuing Resolve

To:  University Community
From:  The President's Cabinet
Date:  August 15, 2017
Subject:  National Events and Our Continuing Resolve 

In our weekly meeting this morning, and in the wake of profoundly disturbing events centered on and around a fellow campus community in Charlottesville, Virginia, with which we feel solidarity, the President’s Cabinet today reaffirmed our University’s commitment to values we hold sacrosanct. We are a community that shall continue to:

  • treat all persons among us equally and with humanity, empathy, compassion, and respect;
  • denounce bigotry, racism, extremist ideology, hate, and intolerance in any form – while acknowledging the right to individual freedom of thought and expression on which our democracy is founded;
  • reject violence as a means to communicate any legitimate message or effect any legitimate change in society; and
  • as a community of scholars, enable and embrace inquiry, open-mindedness, active listening, careful reflection, and reasoned discourse as our weapons in combating the attack on these same ideals that we appear to be witnessing now.

The provost and deans are planning a series of fall seminars, forums, and other events extending the conversation we started last year entitled “Beyond the Great Divide.”  In the spring semester, Provost Ogren hopes to sponsor a related series concerning speech on campus.  We invite the community to engage in the kind of discourse we are here encouraging – in other words, to do what our community does best.  We look forward to sending information about these opportunities in the coming weeks.