In recent days, two neighboring institutions, fellow members of our Consortium of Universities of Metropolitan Washington, have been subjected to horrendous incidents of racial hate-mongering. These incidents at American University and the University of Maryland, College Park, have gone beyond symbolic actions to include actual threats of physical harm.
Such acts are not only incompatible with the values essential to the pursuit of inquiry in an academic community; they strike at the very heart of our democracy. A short while ago, I spoke with my American University counterpart, Dr. Neil Kerwin, conveying my sympathy for what he and his university are now going through and offering any support we can provide as he and his colleagues work with student leaders to respond to this terrible challenge.
At the same time, I want to assure you that our administration will do everything in its power to ensure that all our students are able to pursue their studies in a safe and free environment, and that all members of our community are protected from the assaults of those whose sole purposes are to divide and destroy. In times like these, uniting as a community and expressing our solidarity with students and colleagues at colleges and universities across the nation are the best ways to ensure that the forces of hatred do not succeed.