To the Campus Community:
Over the past week, our community has been reacting to a difficult and polarizing campaign. The election cycle was divisive and those hostilities and acrimonious reactions are present in our community as well.
I am writing today to reiterate our commitment at UMass Amherst to welcoming a diversity of viewpoints and to the free and open discussion of issues within an inclusive and caring environment. Civil discourse and thoughtful dialogue must be the defining attributes of our approach as we move forward together.
To better understand the challenging issues that we face in the months ahead, the university will host a public forum this Wednesday, November 16 at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium titled, “Election 2016: What happened? What is likely to happen?”
Provost Katherine Newman will moderate a panel discussion involving some of our most distinguished faculty:
- Paul Collins on the courts and judicial behavior
- Kathy Forde on the press and mass media
- Jennifer Lundquist on immigration issues
- Paul Musgrave on foreign policy
- Tatishe Nteta on polling and voter behavior
- Ray La Raja on healthcare, political parties and governance
This is an opportunity for members of our community to come together, benefit from expert insight, engage in conversation and consider solutions to our national concerns. This is in the finest tradition of public scholarship, and we hope you will join these faculty members as they explore the election from the vantage point of many years of research on these topics.
Protests, too, may continue on this campus and elsewhere, and such actions are a longstanding part of our commitment to free speech. I know our faculty and staff will also remain focused on their roles and responsibilities as instructors and advisors in the daily operation of the university in the days ahead.
I hope you will make every effort to attend Wednesday night’s event as we forge a respectful and collaborative future together.
Kumble R. Subbaswamy
UMass Amherst Chancellor