Letter to the Editor: Faculty Council responds to Lowrie memo and student protests

Faculty Council recently met with President Lee Pelton, Provost Michaele Whelan, and VP of Diversity and Inclusion Sylvia Spears to discuss the student protest and its aftermath. While we support Anthony Lowrie’s freedom of speech, his use of the official Faculty Council distribution list may have given the impression that his letter was the official position of Faculty Council.  It is not.

We strongly state that we support our students and their demands that we as faculty accelerate and redouble efforts to create a safe environment that embraces students of color and all other minorities and marginalized groups, and reflects the college’s mission to “promote civic engagement, encourage ethical practices, and foster respect for human diversity.” To that end, we re-commit ourselves to fair and inclusive education. We recognize that we can all do better in our quest for greater equality and mutual respect between faculty, students, staff, and administration. We call upon all groups to be kinder to one another in the aftermath of what has been a stressful year for all.

We also recognize student demands for increased cultural awareness, accountability, and resource allocation in pursuit of an inclusive excellence that is truly and fully inclusive. This demand will require institutional and behavioral changes. We look forward to working with the administration, students, staff and fellow faculty to ensure brisk and effective progress in all these areas. 

We are committed to re-establishing trust within the Emerson community so we can all work together for greater diversity, and for equity, transparency, and justice.

Signed, Faculty Council 2017-2018: 

Anthony Lowrie, MC (Chair)

Lindsay Beamish, PA

Christine Casson, WLP

Tom Cooper, VMA

Linda Gallant, CS (Vice-Chair)

Ruth Grossman, CSD

Tim Riley, Journalism

Tulasi Srinivas, Institute

Seounmi Han Youn, MC

Sarah Zaidan, VMA (Secretary)