Dear Campus Community:
With the results of this most contentious presidential campaign finally clarified, albeit pending states’ certification of vote tallies, I again want to acknowledge the significance of this election as a testament to the power of participatory democracy. We witnessed a historic voter turnout in the face of a once-in-a-century pandemic, and many barriers erected to suppress voter participation, demonstrating the strength of the American people’s determination to ensure their rightful say in the future direction of our nation.
While there can be legitimate disagreements on policy matters, there is no denying that the personal style and rhetoric of the incumbent president contributed to a climate in which the interests of partisan politics were prioritized over the important work of governing. Nowhere was that more apparent than in the federal approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic racism and immigration policy, all of which have had a direct impact on our campus community.
By embracing reason and advancing knowledge, we at UMass, along with colleges and universities nationwide, can contribute to an educated populace that values facts and truth over opinion and dogma. And through research, scholarship and expanding access to education, we can play a vital role in helping to meet the incredible challenges we face as a society. Among them are shortening the length and lessening the public health and economic toll of the pandemic, addressing racial inequity, confronting the threat of climate change, improving media literacy, and redesigning policies and practices that contribute to economic inequality and health disparities.
We offer our congratulations to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, and pledge to do our part to help unite the American public for the common good. I want to restate our campus’s commitment to the values of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism. We are continuously striving for a campus environment, and a broader society, that celebrates the differences among us and fosters dignity and respect for all.
I am hopeful that, while striving for truth and understanding, all of us stay engaged and do our part to contribute to the formation of a more perfect union.
Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy