An Important Message from the Chancellor

May 3, 2022

Dear Campus Community,

Earlier this evening four Black student groups, several individual Black students and one campus office received an email containing deeply racist, hateful language similar in tone to an email sent to Black student groups last semester.

We have alerted law enforcement to seek assistance in identifying the source of this new anti-Black racist email, and will do everything within our power to hold the racist, hateful coward who sent it accountable. Investigations into such incidents, law enforcement experts say, are often difficult. The investigation into the original email from the fall of 2021 has thus far been inconclusive. That investigation is a collaborative effort undertaken by the UMass Police Department, the campus office of Information Technology, the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, and independent experts from Stroz Friedberg Digital Forensics. This multi-faceted approach ensures that the investigation is as comprehensive and independent as possible. It has assessed the online targeting of the UMass community across multiple sources, including dark websites, and leveraged custom tools as well as proprietary and commercial datasets.

I realize how frustrating the slow progress of the investigation is and how profoundly disturbing it is that our Black students have been targeted again. I am angry and frustrated as well. I will thoroughly assess the status of our investigation and will inquire with law enforcement agencies to make sure that we are doing everything possible to bring the perpetrator of these hateful acts to justice. If that person is someone in the campus community, they will face severe university sanctions, up to and including expulsion or employment termination, as well as a referral to the District Attorney for criminal prosecution.

In the meantime, I want to express my solidarity with our Black students, faculty and staff. I will work with campus leaders to ensure that support services are made available to those who seek them and will keep the campus community updated on any developments going forward.


Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy