Dear Knox Community,
As we near the end of our fall term, students on campuses across the country are raising critical questions about bias and discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender identity, and other forms of identity. I am proud that Knox students have been in the lead on these issues and out in front of the national movement. In dialogues, social media postings, individual protests and demonstrations over the last 18 months, our students have reminded us that we all can do more to live up to our ideal of One Community: to be an inclusive and respectful college where all community members participate fully in every educational opportunity.
Together, we have taken a number of steps toward that goal, including a new bias incident reporting system, a greater focus on diversity in hiring faculty and staff, diversity training for faculty and staff, new programming on issues of inclusion and respect, and the engagement of nationally-known consultants on diversity, equity and inclusion. We anticipate that the consultants’ report will be complete by February and will share the report with the campus. We will also be updating the Becoming One Community website over the winter break to reflect these and other ongoing efforts.
Although these are necessary reforms, we all recognize that the work is incomplete and much more remains to be done. Over the winter break, I hope that every member of the Knox community will pay careful attention to the voices of our own students and those at other campuses so that we can continue our dialogue when we reconvene in January to build a campus culture of respect, equity, and inclusion.
Wishing you good luck on finals and safe travels over the break,