Comments on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose global vision of justice helped to awaken the social conscience of our great country to its moral obligation, continues to inspire and impact all of Indiana University’s efforts to build a community in which diversity of community and ideas is valued and in which all members of the community are committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity.

As part that commitment, we are working hard to recruit students and faculty from diverse cultural backgrounds and ensure that cultural diversity is well represented in our academic curriculum. We are also seeking to ensure that members of our community who come from diverse backgrounds interact with one another in educationally purposeful ways.

At our university and all across our country, we have made great progress toward the brotherhood that Dr. King imagined, but, as recent events have loudly demonstrated, many challenges remain. Indeed, the contentious political climate of the last several months has underscored deep divisions within our country.

If we are to build a community on the basis of diversity, then all of us at IU must bend our efforts -- every day, and not just in the wake of a particular incident -- to assure that our university community regards tolerance, diversity and the free expression of ideas as among its core virtues. These virtues help form the bedrock of who we are at IU.

As administrators and educators, we must always insist that our students -- and we ourselves -- seek to understand, weigh and assess the ideas, assertions and arguments that come from other perspectives, traditions, disciplines and beliefs. We must also insist that there is no room at IU for discrimination or harassment based on anyone’s actual or perceived race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin.

As we approach IU’s bicentennial celebration in 2020, we are committed to further developing IU as a diverse, engaged, multicultural academic community that will serve as a model for higher education, the state of Indiana and society at large.