A Special Message from Dean Peter Hlebowitsh

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The tragedy that unfolded before our eyes in Minneapolis spoke to a heartbreak inflamed by race and questions of justice. I believe that I speak for the College in saying that we stand by the peaceful protesters exercising their constitutional right to express their outrage and upset, and we urge an awakening of insight from the leadership of our nation to guide the conduct of our people toward a reconciliation marked by peace and reasoned tolerance.

We are a college that works in the lives of children, parents, teachers and health professionals. We are at the very vanguard of institutional change, working with young people and with adults to bring relief to the intolerance and inequities that still very much prevail in our institutions. We will continue to strive in our efforts to lift up the lives of people and to do everything we can to combat racism, intolerance and injustice.

This fall I will convene a committee with the charge of examining the work of the SPARK initiative, led by our own Dr. Andre Denham, in the interests of putting a renewed focus on diversity concerns as they relate to faculty recruitment. I will ask the same from the extant faculty mentoring committee and encourage the staff council and any other standing committees to offer any insights they might have to make our college a more inviting and inclusive place.

Finally, I encourage the COE community to look for ways to participate in the various upcoming events scheduled by UA’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We live by a hope and by a promise make life better for those who will come after us. Let’s all pick up something heavy and carry that weight for the cause of a better future.