Expressing our concerns with respect and tolerance
October 30, 2023 2:01 PM

Dear Faculty, Students and Staff,

The Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel and the escalating war that is unfolding have already claimed a horrifying number of innocent lives with a toll that will only grow higher. Members of our university family have been directly impacted by these events and many more are certainly struggling as they try to make some sense of unimaginable tragedies. We have been and will continue to provide support for those impacted by the violence.

But what we cannot support during this divisive period are calls for increasing conflict or for harm to others. Our campus has been a public gathering point for several protests, rallies and vigils. And while most have been peaceful, we know of instances over the past couple of weeks, including this past weekend, where actions and words of some participants were seen as calls for violence. Expressions of antisemitism or Islamophobia or hatred and harm against any individual or groups are antithetical to our university values. We are a university that prides itself on its efforts to foster inclusion and respect, and we condemn these messages that are contrary to our mutual values of inclusion and tolerance.  

As this war continues, our campus will certainly be a gathering point for more public activities for our faculty, staff and students, as well as community members, who want their voices to be heard. We embrace that role as a public institution. But we will never tolerate hate, discrimination or violence. And we condemn and reject abhorrent expressions that threaten our ability to create a safe and healthy learning and work environment.

The days and weeks to come will bring with them sad news about many more innocent lives lost. I ask that we keep all of those who are grieving, have been lost or are suffering in our hearts and minds.

We are at our best when we bring empathy and compassion to our work together.


Robert J. Jones

This mailing approved by:
Office of the Chancellor

sent to:
Academic Professionals, Civil Service, Faculty, Graduate Students & Undergraduate Students
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