Chapman's Commitment to Diversity
- Many people have asked me to respond to the recent opinion piece written by a Chapman faculty member in Newsweek. I have intentionally withheld a response but with increasing requests, I will do so briefly.
- First, the university is not responsible for the ideas of its faculty. As president, I will neither endorse them nor refute them. The strength of a university comes in its commitment to free speech and to academic freedom. We cannot simply pick and choose when to support free speech, despite the personal views of the president, provost, dean or any university administrator. Indeed, if anyone in a position of authority were to publicly criticize faculty work, it would create a dangerous chilling effect on the culture of academic freedom that defines a university. If there is an academic argument to be made in opposition of an individual’s work, faculty peers are in the best position to make that case based on their areas of expertise.
- Equal to my commitment to free speech, is my unwavering commitment to a diverse and inclusive community at Chapman. One that is stronger than the voice or act of an individual. When incidents of division and injustice impact our community, they do not reflect the entire community nor should they be interpreted as to alter what is our concrete commitment to those values. We are living through a historic time both nationally and within our own Chapman community and staying true to who we are as a community has never been more critical.
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