Dear Campus Community:
Earlier this week I sent a message about the sit-in at the President’s office conducted by over 200 students on Monday to raise critical concerns of students of color and students who hold intersecting marginalized identities. In that message I mentioned that there would be a follow-up dialogue on Friday, but did not provide specifics, since those details were not yet determined.
Today, Friday December 7th, there will be a student-led... Read more
Dear Western Campus Community:
Yesterday, approximately 200 students of color and other students of marginalized identities, along with their allies, conducted a sit-in for about six hours in the President’s office and the hallway of Old Main. Although I was in Seattle attending to other duties during the day, I joined them last night for about three hours of tough, but important, dialogue.
Much of what these students said about their experiences at Western was heart-breaking, especially the words of seniors who have experienced many of the same issues since they... Read more
Dear Campus Community,
I wrote to you after recent racist vandalism and hate-filled slurs appeared on campus. I’d like to take this opportunity to provide an update on activities since those incidents.
As many of you may have seen through an emailed campus advisory and media reports, a Western student was arrested by University Police on Sunday, November 25, 2018 in connection with the recent vandalism. As interim measures, the student, a resident of Western’s Birnam Wood apartment community on campus, was trespassed from all university housing and dining halls, and can... Read more
Dear Campus Community:
It has come to my attention that abhorrent racist graffiti has been found on the Wright’s Triangle art installation near Carver, on study abroad posters in Red Square, and in several other interior locations on campus. I am deeply troubled that hateful and bigoted vandalism by cowardly individuals continues to happen here, in a place where we should all feel safe and welcomed. I want to be perfectly clear: hate has absolutely no place on our campus.
... Read more
Dear Western Community,
As you know, over the weekend, a horrendous act of violence killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue. This is the latest in a series of such incidents that have targeted our educational institutions and places of worship, spaces that are expected to be safe places for ALL people. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the community, families, and law enforcement officers affected by these horrifying events not only in the Pittsburgh area, but in Jewish communities across the country, including here in Bellingham. If you or someone you know at... Read more
To the Western Campus Community:
Western’s most important responsibility is to provide a safe campus environment, an environment free from sexual violence, harassment, and discrimination. Preventing and responding to sexual violence and sexual misconduct is something that universities across the country are struggling to address, and Western is no exception. It has become increasingly clear to me that Western’s efforts in this area need to be rethought, reorganized, and significantly improved. I have spoken with Western students, faculty, and staff who experience a lack of... Read more
Dear Western Students,
Welcome to the 2018-2019 academic year! Whether this is your first year at Western or your last, I hope you are as excited as I am by the opportunities the lie ahead to learn about others, ourselves, and the world we share.
Supporting your success both in and out of the classroom is the primary mission of Western, and it’s a commitment shared by more than 2000 faculty and staff in a wide variety of roles. Please know there are many resources at Western to support you in... Read more
Good morning and welcome to the start of Western’s 125th academic year.
I would like to begin by acknowledging that we are gathered on the ancestral homelands of Indigenous Peoples who have lived in the Salish Sea basin and the North Cascades watershed from time immemorial, in particular the Lummi Nation and the Nooksack Tribe. Please join... Read more
June 19, 2018
To the Campus Community:
As the regular academic year comes to a close and our campus community shifts into the distinct rhythms of summer, I want to thank you for your continued commitment and contributions to advance Western. I often comment that our graduates are the most important contribution we make to society. To deliver on this promise, we just graduated almost 2,200 students during our spring Commencement ceremonies. As I participated in Commencement, I was proud of our graduates and deeply appreciative of our faculty and staff—to the faculty for... Read more
Dear Campus Community,
In response to my recent message “Nurturing a Safe Campus Community,” I received several questions on the issue of gun violence, which I believe justifies a follow-up email on this important issue. We have all been affected by the images of enraged, scared and exhausted students, parents and educators wondering what can be done to stop school shootings like the most recent incident that claimed the lives of 17 people at a Florida high school.
First, I want to remind you that, per state law (... Read more