Principles Regarding Chancellor Statements (November 6, 2023)

Dear Colleagues, 

During my time as chancellor, I have frequently issued statements addressing a wide range of local, national and global issues. In the interest of transparency, I am sharing a set of principles that will guide the decision-making process regarding when to issue such statements. These principles draw inspiration from the University of Chicago Kalven Report, which emphasized the importance of fostering an environment for intellectual debate and maintaining institutional neutrality.

These guiding principles – which inform when I may issue a statement – are as follows:

  1. Incidents of conflict and violence: Local, national or global incidents that have a personal impact or are likely to be alarming or concerning to a significant portion of our campus community.
  2. National and state policies: Policies that have a substantial impact on our faculty, staff and/or student population.
  3. Incidents of violence: Incidents of violence on other campuses, whether they are local or national, incidents of violence where victims have a direct connection to UM-Dearborn, or targeted incidents that elevate fear within our community.

It is important to note that these guiding principles are designed to help us evaluate specific situations where issuing statements may be appropriate. While I am committed to offering support, comfort and security for our community, I am also mindful of not overwhelming our students, faculty or staff. In some cases, I may choose to engage directly with affected members of our campus community or communicate with them individually, instead of or in addition to issuing a public statement.

My primary responsibility as chancellor is to lead and support our students, faculty and staff. This requires genuine care and concern, not a political point of view or a personal opinion. Accordingly, offering support and pointing to resources will be the focus of these communications.

My best wishes for peace, calm and mutual understanding as we all continue on our academic journeys.

Domenico Grasso

Office of the Chancellor

1070 - Administration Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-593-5500
Fax: 313-593-5204