From the Dean's Desk
Yesterday justice was served. In finding Derek Chauvin guilty of manslaughter, second-degree murder and third-degree murder in the death of George Floyd, the jury sent a clear message that police brutality and systemic racism in law enforcement—and all society—must be punished and eradicated in our country.
Dear A&S students, faculty and staff,
Recently our campus received the results of the Campus Climate Pulse Survey. Led by Dr. Damon Williams of the University of Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory, the findings conveyed a stark and distressing reality: large numbers of our community feel marginalized, unsupported, and alone.
I can only start this message by saying that my heart goes out to the Asian and Asian American members of our community. As a dean and as a person, I stand with you.
Something I look forward to every spring is the return of the red-tailed hawks to campus. I’m happy to report that SU-Sue and Otto have recently been spotted in their aerie atop Lyman Hall, and that the College is again offering its live feed of the popular pair’s nest. You can check in on them 24/7 at
What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, the World Health Organization had just announced the emergence of the novel coronavirus, and the U.S. presidential election seemed a far way off.
When I sat down to write this holiday message, I struggled at first. How could I convey hope and gratitude against the backdrop of this year’s unthinkable challenges? How would I find the right words, when so much had been “wrong?”
Although it seems as if COVID demands that we stay in a state of suspended animation, that isn’t really true.
From the swell of the pandemic to the roar of the Black Lives Matter movement, these past six months away from campus have afforded us a precious and historic opportunity to examine our individual vulnerabilities and responsibilities.
Syracuse University unequivocally condemns racism and xenophobia and rejects bigotry, hate and intolerance of any kind.
I write to you to express my frustration and great disappointment about the recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidance affecting international students.
In his 1972 book No Name in the Street, the late author and activist James Baldwin wrote: “Well, if one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected – those, precisely, who need the law’s protection most! – and listens to their testimony.”
As we wind down this unusual semester, I am heartened by the incredible work in A&S that continues in all our departments.
The liberal arts give us timeless resources for coping in the forms of philosophy, literature, science, art, music, religion, and so much more.
As we head into spring break and a period of remote instruction, I want to acknowledge the uncertainty that we collectively face —and offer you some reassurance.
We are grateful that our staff members represent A&S with skill and sensitivity.
We in A&S have the building blocks for change.
You’ve probably heard the expression “context is key.” One of my favorite examples concerns the word undecided.