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Community Update

September 13, 2018

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As I mentioned in Friday’s message, during the next several weeks I will share with members of the community a series of updates about institutional and programmatic initiatives and upcoming searches.

Today, I write to share the executive summary of the Dean’s Division external review and the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Wellbeing, Belonging, and Social Life.

This year, Interim Dean Jim Terhune and members of his staff will work with faculty, staff, and students to implement several recommendations from both reports. In the coming weeks we will launch a search for a new permanent dean. The new dean will address some of the more wide-ranging recommendations after arriving on campus next year.

As I indicated last spring, I am charging last year’s Ad Hoc Committee, now known as the Task Force on Student Social Events and Community Standards, to focus on the status of the Greek Life organizations and their relationship to campus standards and social life. Once the committee of faculty, staff, students, alumni and Managers has been appointed, I will release the names of its members.

I have taken into consideration the Ad Hoc Committee’s recommendation regarding a moratorium on leased fraternity houses on campus. After careful deliberation, I will not be placing a moratorium on the leased spaces at this time. We have existing policies for responding to allegations of misconduct by students and student organizations and will continue to address specific concerns as they arise. The Task Force must be able to undertake a full and credible review of Greek life on campus. Preemptively placing a moratorium outside of the College's stated policies could be construed as prejudicing the work of the Task Force before it begins.

I would like to thank the members of the Ad Hoc Committee for their year-long work, and specifically Professor of History Bruce Dorsey for serving as co-chair of the committee. I look forward to continuing this important work to improve the quality of the student experience.


Valerie Smith