Working Together on Campus Climate

November 20, 2014

On November 20, John W. Boyer, Dean of the College, and Karen Warren Coleman, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services, sent this message to members of the faculty and student body who had written regarding their concerns about bias incidents on campus. 

Dear Vincente and Jaime,

Thank you for bringing your concerns to us and taking the time to meet. The issues you raised in the letter, petition, and our meeting are serious and important.  In addition, we learned on Tuesday night of hateful and anonymous Facebook posts that are part of a larger pattern, and the President and Provost have issued a campus-wide statement condemning this threatening behavior.

We know that members of the University community have experienced bias, insensitivity, and outright threats and discrimination. These situations are especially painful and frightening when they attack one’s identity. These events require our serious attention, both immediately and over time.

We agree with you that the University must continue to seek ways to improve the campus climate. As we discussed last Friday, it is vital that everyone is able to fully engage as members of our community in an environment free of harassment, discrimination, and threats. All members of our community bear responsibility for this challenging and complicated effort. Our approach has been to create forums for this dialogue to combat the ignorance that underlies so much of this offensive behavior. We will pursue action steps that include ideas in your petition as well as others, in dialogue with you and other members of our community.

In response to the interest by many students in these concerns, we are posting this message on the CSL website in addition to sending it to you, Vincente and Jaime, and to those students and faculty who signed the original letter, as well as others who have written us in support.

We will be actively working with the entire campus community on these important issues, and will update everyone on our collective efforts.

John W. Boyer
Dean, The College

Karen Warren Coleman
Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services