Nov. 3, 2016
Dear McIntire School Community,
I write to you today from Asia, where I am meeting with many McIntire alumni, parents, potential students, academic and corporate partners, and friends from literally all regions of the world. Like all of us, they recognize that our increasingly diverse and inclusive community is one of our great strengths, and I am pleased that the McIntire School makes every effort to achieve this end and to realize the best in each of us.
Having said that, I am sad and very concerned to learn of the bias incidents taking place in the UVA Community. I join other University leaders in the call to stand together as a McIntire family to condemn acts of bigotry and hatred and to work together to create an inclusive environment where all members can thrive, grow, and learn from each other. McIntire is taking great strides this year, establishing a new Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as well as a strategic plan around Diversity and Inclusion that ensures all members of our community are valued and empowered. Many of you already participated in workshops and training around Valuing our COMMunity of Differences, and we will continue to offer training and resources around these issues. I reiterate some of the statements found in our new strategic plan around Diversity and Inclusion:
- Our community is inclusive, acknowledging and removing barriers to empower all our members to engage fully and to contribute in and out of the classroom.
- Our community is enriched by challenging assumptions, inspiring thoughtful discussion, and contributing to the development of innovative solutions.
As current and future global business leaders, we must create an environment that promotes constructive dialogue while maintaining civility and respect. I ask that you join me to speak out against bias and hatred; speak out when you see something you know is wrong; use the Just Report It system to report an incident of concern.
Both McIntire and the University have resources to support individuals who may feel the targets of bias or uncomfortable about events or conversations taking place. I encourage you to obtain support if necessary and engage in constructive dialogue around these issues. McIntire’s Office of Student Services (RRH 163) or Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (RRH 104) are resources for support. Many University resources are available to support students, faculty, and staff:
I sincerely appreciate everything that all members of our community do each day to make the McIntire School a wonderful place to live and learn. With the impending election and its associated rhetoric and media coverage both before and after next Tuesday, I ask all of you to redouble your efforts in the coming weeks to reject language and actions driven by fear, hate, and bias, and to participate in our efforts to make the School and University an even better and stronger community. Thanks very much.
Best, Dean Zeithaml