President's Message on a University-wide Framework for Justice

March 29, 2019

Dear Arcadia Community,

Oppression is a lived reality for many people in our world, and our own community is not immune, both at home and within our global network. As a community, through our values, we have clearly stated that we must not accept this reality. When members of our community are targets of oppressive acts, we must stand united, so that no Arcadian faces injustice alone. At Arcadia, we will not settle for anything less than becoming an exemplar of justice.

Justice and respect are central to our lived values. We strive to become a just community by embracing integrity in our actions, individually and collectively, and by seeking positive transformation in our world. Our definition of respect recognizes that our diversity as a community creates a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere, where differences in culture, perspective, and belief enrich academic discourse and campus life while creating a sense of belonging for all community members.

Several reports have reached my desk of incidents where Arcadians have faced oppressive acts. We have much work to do in this regard. We will clearly define our goals and strategies to create a more just community.

Our first step will be to prioritize and institutionalize justice at Arcadia. This summer, we will launch our University’s strategic planning process, which will include a framework for diversity, inclusion, and justice that extends to Arcadia’s global community. Two key projects that we will tackle immediately, within the framework of the larger institutional strategy we will develop, are the implementation of a bias incident reporting system and a review of the purpose and impact of the Civility Flag.

I have asked Judy Dalton, associate dean of Institutional Diversity, to partner with me to work with our community members to build a robust institutional framework that will help us address key issues such as sexual violence, racism, and sexism, among many other forms of oppression. If you would like to join our planning efforts, please email Associate Dean Dalton at daltonj@arcadia.edu.

We must always remain vigilant against injustice and its causes, and we must strive to exhibit and embody our core values in our actions. Together, we will stand united.

Sincerely,

Ajay Nair, Ph.D.
President