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Commitment to Our University Values

Dear Campus Community:

I have heard from many of you about the horrific, shameful and inconceivable riots and insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Many have shared their anger, disappointment and grief. Unfortunately, the last several years have created division and dissonance, stoked hatred and fueled fear that culminated in violence, coupled with images of white supremacy, at our Capitol. Our University community is a remarkably diverse one, dedicated to vigorous debate and sharing of competing ideas, but we have always recognized that a commitment to our core values provides a conduit for unity and institutional strength that endures and unites, regardless of political divisions and disagreements. As the turmoil and violence at the Capitol reveals, our democracy is a fragile one, the racial inequities and social justice challenges we face are profound, and all dependent on elected leadership that embraces the foundational values of our Republic, including our commitment to the peaceful transition of power, the rule of law and acceptance of the results of our elections.  

Embedded in these painful events are lessons that will help us continue to grow as a campus, a community and a country. As an institution of higher education, we will continue to play an essential role in civic engagement and debate, helping our students and one another grow, coalesced around our core values and goals. We have been, and will continue to be, an example of strength through diversity. Despite the significant challenges ahead, I will always remain optimistic about our future, precisely because of the people that make our University and community a beacon of hope and an instrument for productive change.

It has never been more important to stand for what we know to be right, use our voice and embrace the foundational principles of our country. I hope that you will engage in discussions at every level of our campus, with our students, with one another and with our leadership. It has never been more important.

Regards, 

Dr. M. David Rudd
University President