President's invitation to a campus conversation about racial equity

November 18, 2015

Dear Campus Community,

We have an opportunity to move forward as a campus that embraces diversity, encourages equity, celebrates our differences, and stands up to racism. It is critically important for us, as a great university, to not turn away from hard conversations but to confront challenging issues thoughtfully and honestly.

The recent events at the University of Missouri illustrate our nation’s deep soul-searching over issues of racial equity. Last week black students and their allies rallied on our campus in support of students at the University of Missouri and expressed their feelings of isolation and frustration.

I and members of our leadership team met with some of these students last week, and I will continue to meet with them and additional student groups in the near future. We must continue to listen to our students and to other members of our campus community about racial equity issues, and then take appropriate action.

To encourage this dialogue, Vice President Yvette Alex-Assensoh and I invite you to attend an event hosted by the Division of Equity and Inclusion this week. Lessons from Mizzou: A Campus Conversation will be at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, November 20, in the Global Scholars Hall Great Room. I encourage you to join us for tabletop discussions among students, faculty, staff, alumni, and administrators. To learn more and RSVP for the event, please visit the DEI website.

I also urge our campus, as we have these sometimes emotional and hard conversations, to do so with respect, kindness, and an open mind. We’ve seen how statements online or in social media can be very hurtful. We must stand up for each other and encourage respectful dialogue.

I look forward to the discussion on Friday.


Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law