Dear IU students:
I would like to welcome you to what I am certain will be a memorable and inspiring year at Indiana University. You join students from all over Indiana, the nation and the globe at a university with enormous cultural, academic, social, athletic and service opportunities. You will learn in state-of-the-art facilities on our beautiful and vibrant campuses in rigorous courses led by excellent faculty who are among the leading scholars, researchers and innovators in the country and internationally. You will meet highly skilled staff who are dedicated to preparing you to succeed and achieve your goals. They are all as enthusiastic as I am about aiding you throughout the course of your IU education.
As members of the IU community, you have the opportunity to contribute in a myriad of ways to a rich, inquiring, productive and public-spirited civil society that binds all of us together as one. You are part of an increasingly diverse and interconnected world and a member of one of the nation's most international universities. This is a place where you can seek to better understand the ideas, assertions, arguments, customs, traditions and beliefs of others with whom you have chosen to share this special time in your lives. And as an IU student, you will be asked to contribute to strengthening a culture of caring and human dignity on all of our campuses, one that strongly encourages tolerance, inclusion, civil discourse and respect for others.
This culture and its values are the bedrock of who we are at Indiana University and have defined us for nearly 200 years. Hence, we find the recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Va., to be deeply disturbing and concerning. We extend our most heartfelt sympathies to those affected by the violent actions in that community, and especially to the families of the three individuals who were killed. IU stands in solidarity with citizens and groups across our nation who oppose a supremacist ideology of bigotry, hatred, violence, intimidation and assault on our liberties. This loathsome ideology is completely antithetical to our values as an educational community. We are an institution committed to fostering civil discourse and creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds.
In the coming months, I hope you will do all you can to reinforce — through your positive behaviors, courageous actions and compassion for your fellow students — IU's strong and unwavering commitment to a learning environment where everyone is respected, regardless of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. As members of the IU community, you have an opportunity to make a major mark on the world, make new discoveries and seek solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our cities, states, country and world. I have no doubt that you will all strive to make lasting and memorable contributions to our communities during your time at IU while broadening your horizons, opening up a vast range of professional and personal growth opportunities, and forming friendships that will last a lifetime.
I know I speak on behalf of the entire faculty and staff when I say we are looking forward to an exciting and productive year ahead and doing all we can to make your journey through IU a memorable one.
My very best wishes for a successful and productive 2017-18 academic year.