USM Chancellor's Statement on Diversity and Inclusion
Adelphi, Md. (Aug. 30, 2017) -- University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Robert L. Caret today issued the following statement:
events in Charlottesville are yet another tragic reminder that we continue to
fall far short of our aspirations as a nation.
By whatever name we call them -- white nationalists,
neo-Nazis, or the alt right - a toxic mix of hatred and ignorance descended
upon the University of Virginia, perhaps inevitably spawning senseless violence
and the loss of innocent life.
intolerance and injustice targeting the most vulnerable among us - people of
color, the LGBT community, women, and religious and ethnic minorities - remains
one of America's great unmet challenges.
As a community of scholars and learners, we must confront, condemn and
denounce both isolated acts of bigotry and the systemic, institutional racism
that continues to limit our nation's potential.
the University System of Maryland is neither immune from these problems nor
sheltered from their impact. Just a few
short months ago, Richard Collins III - an ROTC student, commissioned as a
second lieutenant in the Army, committed to serving his country - was murdered
on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park days before he was
set to graduate from Bowie State University.
and leadership teams of the two most directly affected campuses, UMCP's Wallace
Loh and BSU's Aminta Breaux - as well as presidents and leaders at every institution
across our system - have been working proactively to support students, faculty
and staff shaken by these events. I
write today to once again express solidarity with and support for their efforts
and for every member of the USM community.
that there are issues of racism that we must address. We know there is a history we must face. As a system, we are working together to
confront these challenges.
As we begin
the new academic year, we must reaffirm USM's core values: inclusion and tolerance, civility and mutual
respect, fairness and justice, free inquiry and free debate.
At the same
time, we must recognize that these values all rest on the bedrock of
security. Research, teaching and
learning can only flourish in an atmosphere free from fear. Our campuses serve as homes to tens of thousands
of students, as centers of learning and scholarship to thousands more and as
workplaces for faculty and staff. We can
never tolerate violence, or the threat of violence, on any of our
of all USM students, faculty and staff is paramount above all other
considerations; it cannot and will not be abridged. Working with campus police and security, as
well as law enforcement agencies across the state, we will take every prudent
measure necessary to safeguard the wellbeing of every member of the USM
community. In doing so, we will thereby enable
and foster, not stifle, the process of free inquiry and speech that is at the
heart of any academic enterprise.
As I walk to
and from my office in downtown Baltimore, I often pass the last standing
section of the city's historic train depot, the President Street Station. Much like our society, it bears the scars of racism
and hatred. Built around 1850, it became
infamous during the American Civil War when a pro-slavery mob attacked Union
soldiers passing through Baltimore on their way to reinforce Washington,
DC. Now home to a Civil War museum, this
historic, red-brick edifice is a daily reminder to me of the long and tortured
road America has travelled towards a more equal and just society, and how far
we still have left to go.
coming year, I hope we can all - through our words and deeds - support one
another through this difficult phase in our nation's history and, in doing so,
take a few more steps towards creating a more perfect union for every American. Our collective success will depend on each of
us - students and faculty, staff and administrators - doing our individual
parts to advance justice, equality and fairness for all.
Contact: Mike Lurie