Dear Members of the Whose Diversity? Collective,
I would be happy to meet with members of your group at a mutually agreed upon time at a mutually agreed upon location. While I believe it is entirely appropriate for the meeting be held in my office, I will agree to a meeting elsewhere on campus at a mutually agreed upon location. I would also like us to work together to develop an agenda and determine the attendees. To this end, I would ask that you work with Emily Lawrence in my office. You may reach Emily at [omitted], and I’ve also asked her to reach out to you directly.
I do feel it appropriate to note that I am disappointed at the adversarial and divisive tone of your correspondence. The need to strengthen our university community and have respectful dialogue around issues on which we may disagree is fundamental both to our mission and to resolving those issues in a constructive way.
Vice President Albert, Vice Provost Brown Young, many other leaders and I all have made considerable effort to be proactive about improving the campus climate, advancing equity and diversity, and being responsive to you and many other stakeholders to which we are accountable. We may not have done everything you would like to see on the timeline that you would like to see it done, but it is disheartening that you discount our efforts to date and do not seem to recognize the various constraints – resource and otherwise – that we face in addressing these issues. Lastly, it’s important to note that you are one of many groups, and we are attempting—indeed it is our responsibility—to meet the needs of all, to the best of our ability.
Finally, in addition to working towards a constructive meeting together, I would again urge you to use the many existing outlets and processes to advance your concerns. I believe members of your group have attended the student campus climate world cafes this semester, thank you for that. You are welcome to also participate in Fridays at Noon, an opportunity for one student group a week to meet with leaders from the Office for Student Affairs and other administrators from across campus. The first of these meetings was hosted by the Asian American Student Union. Friday, November 7, staff will meet with Commuter Connections, and next Friday, November 14, Vice Provost Brown Young will meet with members of the Black Student Union. Again, these meetings will occur weekly through the remainder of the academic year. You can contact OSA for more information.
I look forward to our meeting.
Eric W. Kaler