I N S I D E T H I S
I S S U E : :
Deliberative Dialogue
update, action teams
announced
2
Wake Forest and ZSR
travel to Suzhou High
School
3
TEDxWakeForestU
announced
7
Provost’s Newsletter
D E C E M B E R 1 1 , 2 0 1 4
V O L U M E 3 , I S S U E 2
S P E C I A L D A T E S O F
I N T ER E S T :
December 15: Deadline to
signup for a Deliberative Dia-
logue action teams
January 18: 10th Annual
Gospelfest | 3:00 pm |
Brendle Recital Hall
January 28: Secrest Artists
Series presents the National
Symphony Orchestra of
Mexico | 7:30 pm |
Wait Chapel
February 4-6: WISE Confer-
ence | Marriott Downtown
Message from the Provost...
Complexity on Campus
Greetings colleagues—wishing you many occasions for thanksgiving in this season of gratitude and
reaffirmation of familial bonds. Adding a reminder to us all that the period from mid-November
into the year-end holidays is a particularly fraught one for many of our students. The combination
of final exams, term papers/projects/group presentations, and performances, along with familial
pressures (household stresses on average reach a peak at this time of year) can take a real toll: my
deepest appreciation to the many of you, across our WFU schools and staff departments, who are
responding to our students’ concerns in myriad ways.
More than most semesters, this has been a difficult one all across the term. A series of issues and
events, ranging from campus policing practices and lounge/party policies to widely-publicized inci-
dents around a fraternity party (ultimately cancelled) and a series of distressing social-media
postings, has made manifest a sense of unrest and even angry frustration among groups of our stu-
dents. We are by no means alone in experiencing rising tensions on campus, as both media cover-
age and conversations with leaders at other universities and colleges makes clear. Attention to
inequity is heightened by the recent non-indictments of white police officers in the deaths of Mi-
chael Brown and Eric Garner. Concerns about sexual assault on campuses, exacerbated by an alco-
hol-soaked party culture, have been widely publicized of late. The ‘I too am’ movement, referenced
by our new faculty colleague Melissa Harris-Perry’s powerful recent OG&B piece, has spread nation-
wide. And most recently we have seen a resumption of vituperative attacks on our university
Imam, Khalid Griggs.
Faculty and staff across Wake Forest have been deeply engaged with students, in ways both formal
(deliberative dialogues, town halls, and the like) and informal, to emphasize our shared recognition
of concerns about campus culture—and to devise together meaningful ways of enhancing all com-
munity members’ sense of inclusion. A series of messages from me along with other senior staff,
including President Hatch, Barbee Oakes, and Penny Rue, have outlined broadly both our commit-
ment to that foundational aspiration and to strategies and actions intended to help us advance to-
ward it. We are also condemning the website and actions directed at our Imam.
Those conversations/dialogues, immediate- and longer-term actions, and regular campus-wide
communications will continue. Those of you with an interest in greater involvement are gratefully
invited to connect with Barbee Oakes, Penny Rue, and/or Lynn Sutton, who are jointly coordinating
our engagement. I am confident that with such widespread dedication, together we can come clos-
er to achieving the essential goal of creating a truly inclusive Wake Forest.
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