BLOG: Presidential Perspectives

Our Commitment: Action Now, Action Moving Forward

An update for our university community

Dear Central Michigan University Community,

Over the past several days, our students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters and friends have been navigating an incredibly challenging and difficult time — and they have done so with incredible compassion, candor and respect. 

The recent incidents of racist, discriminatory language and behavior have no place in our university community – they directly conflict with our core values of inclusiveness, compassion and respect. Incidents of bias and discrimination do not represent who we are, and they do not embrace the vision of the community we aspire to be now and in the future. This language and this behavior will not be tolerated. The individual in the video identified as a CMU student has been suspended and is no longer on campus, and the staff member has separated from the university.

And, while we are currently addressing recent incidents involving this language and behavior, we know that there are broader, longer-term issues that also demand attention and action. Student, faculty and staff leaders from the Office for Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the University DEI Council, the Student Center for Inclusion and Diversity, and many other groups have spent the past several years digging into these issues, finding data, identifying opportunities and developing a plan to address them. The 2023 -2028 DEI Strategic Plan includes specific, measurable action steps designed to address some of these issues. I invite each of you to review this plan, as well as the university’s Strategic Plan, to learn more.

We know that change to policies, processes and procedures does not happen as quickly and as visibly as we would like; and we know there are additional opportunities for CMU to improve and much more work to be done. I want to offer assurance that this work is happening, and that it will continue to happen, and that we will never stop looking for ways to make our community more inclusive, supportive and empowering.

Our students, faculty and staff deserve to live, learn and work in a community that empowers and supports them – and we are going to create that environment together.  We are proud of and grateful to the members of our university community — particularly our students — who have demonstrated incredible leadership as they came together this week. 

The petitions and demonstrations created by our students, in particular, offer members of our community additional space to be seen, heard and supported in additional ways. The comments, questions and concerns, and the suggested solutions shared in our listening sessions have been inspiring and insightful. You also presented us with several new ideas we will explore. And, as we use your recommendations to strengthen our offerings and our community, we will be intentional about finding multiple ways to provide updates on our progress.

The Board of Trustees has offered their strong support for our plan and its goals, and for the new initiatives suggested by our students, faculty and staff. We will work together to ensure these initiatives receive the resources necessary to create a stronger, more inclusive community.

To our students, faculty and staff: We appreciate your choice to engage in this dialogue and to seek ways to move forward as a community. Please know that we will take action and continue to seek ways to better serve our community.

Blog: Presidential Perspectives posted | Last Modified: | Author: by Bob Davies, CMU President | Categories: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice & Belonging President's Office
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