Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

Last week representatives from the University of Memphis met with Mayor Strickland and other city officials to explore how our University might help in response to recent national events and the tragic loss of life. An issue that emerged with great clarity was the need for an enduring, coordinated effort, one that recognizes the longstanding nature of many of the issues and concerns raised.

As a first step, we have decided to establish a University of Memphis Diversity Council to help direct this effort. The Council will work in coordination with Linda Hall and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Daphene McFerren and the Benjamin Hooks Institute for Social Change, the Critical Conversations Committee and our President's Leadership Council. In the coming weeks, we will be reaching out to faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders to join the discussion. The Council will provide for broad-based input, allowing a voice across all University constituents. We look forward to supporting the City of Memphis as we move forward.

As mentioned in previous communications, we are strengthened and unified by our diversity. Although our local and national challenges are significant, we have tremendous talent on our campus and look forward to helping move our University and city forward.

Regards,

M. David Rudd
President | Distinguished University Professor