November 23, 2015
Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends,
National events have served as a call for Tufts University and other colleges and universities to reaffirm our commitment to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. I want to update you on what we have been doing at Tufts to address these issues over the past few weeks.
On November 13, I sent a message to faculty, staff, and students (attached below) asking them to stand together against racism, support students who are targeted by bigotry and ignorance, and continue to have open discourse about issues of race and power. Following this message, I initiated a meeting with students to better understand community concerns and identify priorities. At that meeting, students raised important and troubling concerns. Among the issues we discussed were the diversity of the student body and faculty, effective teaching in a diverse environment, support services and public safety, opportunities for inter-group dialogue, and the role of our university-wide Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council and Working Group.
Since that meeting, we have received a written statement of concerns and demands from a large collective of Black students. I have arranged a follow-up meeting with the students and members of my senior leadership and undergraduate school administration for the week after the Thanksgiving break. I am hopeful that we can work together with the students to address their concerns and to engage the broader Tufts community on these issues.
I know you all share my deep commitment to a more equitable and diverse Tufts. Please join in this effort by sending me your thoughts and concerns as we work to achieve our goal of a university that truly welcomes and serves each member of our community.