To all members of our Miami Community,
As we launch the 2018-19 academic year at Miami, we wanted to repeat, as publicly and resolutely a possible, our commitment to diversity and inclusion on our campuses — and our rejection of racist, sexist and other bigoted behavior that violates Miami’s values
In a democratic society, the true test of our beliefs and values is how we express and respond to disparate views. We affirm the right and even the obligation of members of our community to speak out about issues with which they disagree, but to do so in a manner that is respectful and does not violate the rights of others. While we respect a person’s right to free speech, as an academic and intellectual community we must stand united against those who attempt to elevate themselves by degrading others, and must reject bigotry, racism, slurs, and hate speech. We should all choose to rise above exclusionary rhetoric, rather than respond in reactionary ways that give unwarranted regard to voices of intolerance.
We are not immune to bias-related incidents. These acts have created fear and fueled concerns amon students across the country. At Miami, our individual and collective responsibility is to create and maintain campuses that are welcoming and inclusive for all. Harassment and discrimination based on any person’s race, ethnicity, nationality, political beliefs, religion, ability, gender or sexuality, or on any other characteristic that makes us unique, are antithetical to Miami’s core values, as defined by our Code of Love and Honor, and have no place on our campuses.
At the same time, the Constitutional right to free speech is essential to holding and expressing disparate beliefs and integral to academic freedom. Respecting this right to free speech can, at times, be difficult, particularly when we disagree or the speech is hateful or hurtful.
Attacks or harassment directed at any individual or group are inconsistent with our principles and transcend ideology. Though our efforts may not always be readily visible or public, we will continue to respond thoughtfully to reports of discrimination, and in a manner consistent with our policies and our legal obligations.
Our additional obligation as students, faculty, and staff is to listen, to understand, and to think critically about issues, especially those that divide us. Although we cannot prevent intolerance or bigotry, we all have the power and the responsibility to treat others with respect and to make our fellow students, faculty and staff feel included and valued. This requires a high degree of rigor and intellectual integrit — to not only get the facts right but to understand multiple viewpoints on any given matter.
This fall, we are convening a task force to create action plans based on the results of the Campus Climate Survey that was completed last spring. We are implementing additional diversity training for students, faculty and staff. This year’s first-year reading program for the incoming Class of 2022 focuses on civil rights, anchored by Wil Haygood’s new book, Tigerland. We just held our Convocation ceremony, another example of using the power of place to engage our community in civil discussions about race, history, and respect for each other.
We also will continue to take pride in the ways in which Miamians come together to support each othe and in our rich array of multicultural learning opportunities. We will stay the course toward inclusiv excellence and remain focused on being the kind of community we want to be, rooted in education, discovery, inquiry and integrity.
Love and Honor,
Gregory Crawford, President
Phyllis Callahan, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
David Creamer, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Services
Tom Herbert, Senior Vice President for University Advancement
Michael Kabbaz, Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success
Jayne Brownell, Vice President for Student Affairs
Ronald Scott, Vice President for Institutional Diversity
Michele Sparks, Vice President for University Communications and Marketing
Robin Parker, General Counsel
David Sayler, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Randi Thomas, Director of Institutional Relations
Cathy Bishop-Clark, Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Applied Science
Jerome Conley, Dean, University Libraries
Michael Dantley, Dean, College of Education, Health, and Society
Marek Dollár, Dean, College of Engineering and Computing
Chris Makaroff, Dean, College of Arts & Science
Elizabeth Mullenix, Dean, College of Creative Arts
James Oris, Dean, Graduate School
Marc Rubin, Dean, Farmer School of Business
Kimberly Moore, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students
Ted Pickerill, Secretary to the Board of Trustees and Executive Assistant to the President
Cliff Peale, Director of Executive Communications
Dawn Tsirelis, Assistant to the President