Tolentine Hall, Room 103
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Provost Message - December 7, 2015
Recent events, including the video released a few weeks ago of the shooting of a black teenager in the streets of Chicago, highlight the importance of creating an equitable and inviting atmosphere where all can grow and prosper. A related conversation is taking place on many college campuses, where students, faculty, staff and administrators are asking whether their institutions are providing a place where all community members can learn and thrive in an environment free of racism or prejudice.
These incidents highlight that the vision of a world where all people—regardless of race, socio-economic group, religion, sexual orientation, or gender—are treated fairly and equitably has yet to be fully realized. Helping realize this vision is particularly important at Villanova because it is rooted in our Augustinian values and is fundamental to who we are as a Catholic university. Our mission provides the foundation for our beliefs that each person is sacred, each person is a valued member of the community to be loved and cared for, and each person is a child of God.
It is in this spirit that I am writing to you, the faculty. First, I invite you to consider spending time in your classes—now and in the future—facilitating a dialogue with your students about the hurt and unrest that students on campuses across the country are grappling with. Second, I hope you will remind your students that at Villanova especially we want all of our students to experience a community of respect and support. And when anyone in our community does not feel respected and supported, we want to know about it and we want to address it. If a student shares with you that Villanova has fallen short in some specific way, please direct that student to either the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Center for Multicultural Affairs or the Dean of Students.
We have an opportunity to make a difference by opening doors and inviting conversation. I believe we have made significant strides in creating the environment that we want, but we can always do more. I thank you in advance for your good stewardship of Villanova and of our students.