Dear Whitman Community,
The appalling and deplorable Theta Tau video must be a catalyst for action. Such racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, homophobic, ableist language and behavior is intolerable. It is antithetical to and an attack upon the fundamental values of the Whitman School and Syracuse University. We cannot tolerate it when it occurs and must impose the most serious sanctions possible when it does.
We must use this horrific event as motivation to redouble our efforts to foster a culture of belonging at the school and university. To ensure Whitman becomes an exemplary inclusive community where everyone – faculty, staff, students, alumni and partners – feels welcome and is treated with dignity and respect.
There are reasons for this that go far beyond a comforting, welcoming environment. Fostering such a culture is central to the education and development of all of our students, the richness of faculty research and scholarship, and the contributions we make to business and society through our ideas and our graduates. Whitman must be an exemplary inclusive community where all members feel valued and have the opportunity to add value.
To that end, and in addition to the actions the University is taking, we will continue to move forward with initiatives to which we have already committed including gathering, analyzing, sharing, and discussing data on diversity and climate; fostering a deep understanding of diversity and inclusion issues among students, faculty, and staff; educating everyone in our community about implicit bias; ensuring our facilities, technology, curriculum, and co-curricular programming are exemplary in terms of accessibility and inclusiveness; actively recruiting, developing, and supporting a diverse community of students, staff, faculty and advisory board members; and creating a dedicated leadership position with responsibility for fostering a culture of belonging at Whitman.
Our vision is to be a pre-eminent and inclusive school of management. As such, we are, and will continue to be, deeply committed to diversity and inclusion.
The events of this past week offer us a unique opportunity to connect with one another and listen so we can understand, respond, and move forward together. Please join me, and fellow faculty, staff, and students, on Monday, April 23 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in Lender Auditorium to discuss how we can achieve our vision.
Together, we will work to ensure our long-standing leadership and tradition in fostering a diverse educational community continues.
Thank you for your engagement, support, and participation in work we must now do to ensure that Whitman is an educational community of which every one of us can be proud.
Gene W. Anderson