Dear Friends –
We are all thinking about the election – about what it means for the future. Throughout this election we have seen conduct and heard messages that do not reflect West Virginia University’s values of civil discourse, social justice, free speech, respect for difference, inclusion, safety and equity. Now and in the months to come, as university leaders we must reaffirm those values and encourage our campus community to do the same. We know that higher education has the power to transform lives and communities. We also know that this power depends on each person having the opportunity to engage fully in all the university has to offer, no matter his/her race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, disability, nationality, veteran status, immigration, socioeconomic background or political affiliation.
Let us declare what we know to be true: for the economic and social vitality of West Virginia, the nation and the world, our students must experience knowledge based on facts, science, technology, reason, diversity, difference and rigorous intellectual and creative work.
Let us create and sustain a community of learners with curiosity, compassion and the commitment to make the world a better place. One of the great privileges of leadership is that we can shine a light on the path to a better future.
If you learn of students, faculty or staff members who feel they may have been discriminated against or threatened (including sexual assault) in violation of university policy, please refer them to the Office of Diversity at 304.293.5600. If anyone tells you he or she feels immediately physically threatened, please encourage him or her to contact the University Police Department at 304.203.2677. If they need immediate assistance, they should call 911. Should you have additional questions, do not hesitate to ask.
Together - we can make a difference. Many members of this community are working on various events. We will keep you posted as details come together.
Joyce McConnell, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs