Board of Trustees Message to the Faculty Senate

April 5, 2021

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

We wanted to share with you the message we sent earlier today to the Faculty Senate.

The Board of Trustees


The Faculty Senate:

We have received your Motion to Censure and would like to add our perspective to the record.

At the heart of the motion is clear disappointment and frustration over the building naming decision by the board. As this was a unanimous board decision, your frustration rests with all of us, not just the Rector. We accept that this is a divisive and difficult decision, and strong differences of opinion are understood and welcomed.

Our interest all along has been to chart a path that was honest about our history and respectful of the varying views in our community. We respect the deep convictions about these issues among faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and we accept that our process and the proposed decision have not achieved our objectives.

Accordingly, the board has decided to suspend the recent naming decision. The board is reviewing options for a broader, more inclusive process to determine how decisions are made about questions of renaming, and we expect to communicate our plans shortly.

The meetings referenced in the motion were intended to advance the understanding of all parties on these complex issues. The Trustees in attendance at those meetings strongly disagree with the characterization of Rector Paul Queally’s words, tone, and intent. The conversations were candid and passionate but in the spirit of mutual respect. We are saddened, but hear clearly, that some parties interpreted certain comments as disrespectful. As we work through these issues in the future, we are committed to a frank dialogue in a mutually respectful manner.

We have learned from this experience and remain confident that together we can develop a comprehensive approach that will serve the best interests of our community.

The Board of Trustees