February 6, 2017
The work of a university like ours — preserving, advancing and creating knowledge, as well as serving our public mission — is especially critical in these times of uncertainty and rapid change. A healthy democracy, founded on inalienable freedoms and a commitment to the common good, doesn’t simply materialize. It is the product of critical thinking, evidence-based argument, reasoned dialogue and the free and open exchange of ideas. These tenets and values are central to our University’s fundamental purpose, ones we must model and teach. Sixty years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote that “the function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically,” but to that assertion he added the caveat that, “Intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”
Campus support services
Office of Academic Personnel
Information for international faculty on the impact of the travel ban Executive Order (EO)
International Student Services
Information for international students on the impact of the travel ban EO
Office of Global Affairs
Central resource hub for global education, research and service for the UW
UW Federal Relations
Current information about federal policy and its impact on the UW community
Bias Incident Reporting Tool
For reporting threats or other bias-related activity, online or in person, that may impact the UW community
Free, confidential, informal drop-in counseling service
Up-to-date information the investigation into the January 20 shooting and safety information.
In the event of an emergency, please call 911.
Leadership Without Borders
Ally director and contact information for undocumented and DACA students
Service to connect anyone with concerns about safety with the right resources
Center for Teaching and Learning
For faculty or TAs dealing with difficult conversations in the classroom
Support for staff offering limited counseling and legal services
The UW must create and nurture the conditions for learning and character to develop and bloom. This happens best in an environment that is free of xenophobia, bigotry and harassment. It happens when all members of our community feel included, knowing they can make a contribution regardless of their area of study or scholarship, or their social, political or religious views. Put simply:
No matter who you are, where you’re from, whom you love, where or whether you worship, or any other aspect of your identity, we welcome your contributions to helping the University of Washington maintain its commitment to access and excellence, to building a better and more equitable future, and creating a world of good.
I am deeply aware of — and share — the concerns that recent events have raised for our community about the safety, security and freedom of many, especially, but not exclusively, our international students, whether on visas or green cards; undocumented students; immigrants; Muslims; and LGBTQ people. We are committed to and working on providing support to those individuals who are directly affected by any changes in national policy as well as to our broader community. You are not alone and we value the richness of perspectives and the expertise you bring. In the sidebar, you will find links to a wide array of University resources and support networks where you can find information as well as help and guidance.
We are also working together with other universities and professional associations including ACE, APLU and the AAU, of which we’re members, to call for sound and reasonable policies that enable international students and scholars to continue to contribute to our country’s and the world’s intellectual, cultural and economic vitality.
In just the last few days, I observed breakthrough scientific work with life-saving potential carried out by a Muslim immigrant from Syria; received medical treatment from one of our doctors who immigrated here from India; worked side by side on developing strategies for student support with staff members who were African American, lesbian and gay; and worked with both Republicans and Democrats in Olympia on important issues affecting higher education. This is what inclusion and pluralism look like, and these and countless other interactions inform my work and make our University better.
This is a dynamic and tumultuous time, with new policies, potential policies and rumors about policies coming at us on an almost daily basis. I do not anticipate sending out a University-wide email responding to every change in policy, or every unsettling event, but you can find updates here on my blog and on the Federal Relations blog. UW Today also remains an outstanding source of information on the range of teaching, research and service that takes place every day at our University.
And don’t forget to make the time to enjoy each other and the many energizing events and activities throughout all our campuses. It is the life-affirming moments that we spend together that will help us better deal with the stresses and strains that are part of our daily life, but that are magnified with uncertainty and change.
The principles at the heart of our UW community are enduring and we will uphold them steadfastly. I invite and encourage you to stay engaged, to stand together as a University and honor the values that make the University of Washington great.