Dear University community,
Racially motivated injustices and tragedies in Georgia, Minneapolis, New York’s Central Park and elsewhere have once again brought hatred and violence against African Americans to the forefront of our collective consciousness. These incidents are disturbing and reprehensible.
At a time when so many of our students and alumni remain spread out across the country and around the world, it is more important than ever for all of you in our communities to know that the UM System and our four universities are here for you.
We have no tolerance for discrimination or acts of hate in our community and encourage robust, respectful dialogue. No matter where you come from, no matter your race, gender, identity, preference or perspective, we all come together to learn, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect and to thrive. (If anyone experiences discrimination or harassment, we encourage them to report it to our campus Offices of Civil Rights and Title IX, which are available and providing services during the pandemic. Each of our universities also has resources available for students, and the Employee Assistance Program is available to faculty and staff. Any other incidents of misconduct can be reported to the UM System Integrity and Accountability Hotline, available 24/7, 365 days a year, at 1-866-447-9821.)
As a community of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, we bring different experiences, backgrounds and perspectives, but we are a family. It is important that we all take personal responsibility and action to provide respect and caring for others in all of our interactions, and to have those expectations for everyone around us.
Having recently celebrated our newest graduates across each of our universities, we are reminded that the values we stand for as higher education institutions are guiding principles in the truest sense. They guide us through the most grueling, most shocking and most heart-wrenching episodes in our lives, because when the world around us becomes clouded in chaos, values are the anchors we can hold onto to see us through.
Above all, every one of us at the four UM universities values integrity. Those who act with integrity have no patience for discrimination, no tolerance for hatred and do not condone an environment that is unsafe for those seeking or administering an education.
Whether in the midst of a viral pandemic or an epidemic of violent hatred and injustice, know that we are committed to leading our universities with integrity. Know, too, that when you became a part of these institutions, you also took on a mantle of integrity. It is our responsibility — together, as a family — to steer our universities and our people through good and bad times with empathy, support and respect for all.
Mun Y. Choi, Ph.D., President, UM System and Interim Chancellor, MU
C. Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D., Chancellor, UMKC
Mohammad Dehghani, Ph.D., Chancellor, Missouri S&T
Kristin Sobolik, Ph.D., Chancellor, UMSL