On Saturday, after many days of vote counting in an election that saw more people vote than any previous election in American history, it became clear that the United States will have a new president on Jan. 20. I extend congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Vice President-elect Harris also made history as the first woman, first Black woman, first woman of South Asian descent and first daughter of immigrants ever elected to national office in this country, and we congratulate her for this.
We also want to extend our congratulations to Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on his reelection, to those who were elected or reelected to represent Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives, and to all those elected or reelected to state and local offices in the Hoosier state. Indiana University commends your commitment to serving the people of our state and looks forward to working closely with all of you in the coming years.
I want to commend all who exercised their right to vote in one of the most fundamental elements of our democratic system of government, especially in the midst of a pandemic that presented unprecedented challenges.
We are seeing the pandemic continue to worsen, with record numbers of COVID-19 cases reported daily and record levels of hospitalizations. So I also greatly welcome and wholeheartedly endorse President-elect Biden’s stated commitment to make battling the pandemic the top priority of his administration. Today, he named the members of his coronavirus taskforce, which will be co-chaired by three eminent scientists and public health experts. Indiana University, as an educational institution and one of America’s leading research universities, wholeheartedly endorses a science-driven approach to combating the pandemic, an approach that has been very successful for IU.
Indiana University is a broad and diverse community, and one where not everyone will always agree with the policies of any administration at the federal, state or local levels. We must welcome the expression of various viewpoints and opinions. In our democracy, people can hold strongly differing views and not suffer drastic consequences, as is unfortunately the case in too much of the rest of the world. IU is committed to protecting free speech, and differences and disagreements must be carried out in a civil, respectful and reasoned way that is especially appropriate in a great university deeply committed to the search for, protection of and dissemination of truth.
The voters have spoken, and we can now move forward and continue the vital educational and research work of Indiana University.
With best regards,
Michael A. McRobbie