The University has announced its NCAA case involving Track & Field and Women’s Basketball has reached a conclusion. Please click here for the official website and the communication from the chancellor on the status of the NCAA investigation: www.UMNCAACase.com.
As a flagship university, the University of Mississippi fosters freedom of speech and the exchange of diverse opinions. At the same time, we strongly condemn all threatening, racist, bigoted, or otherwise harmful comments, such as those made on social media in recent days and directed at our African American, Jewish, and LGBTQ communities.
This afternoon I learned that a number of students had gathered at the Lyceum to express their concerns about a recent social media post and our response to it. Because I have an open door policy, I invited some of the student leaders to meet with me and other university leaders. The students helped me more fully understand the impact on them of national events and this particular social media post. They expressed great pain, sadness, and concern for their own safety.
To be clear, we condemn the recent social media post by one of our students that referenced lynching. In light of our country’s history, that comment can only be seen as racist, offensive and hurtful, especially to members of our African American community. There is no place in our community for racist or violent acts.
I appreciate the willingness of the student leaders to meet with me and to continue the dialogue. Together, we are committed to moving beyond words toward action, harnessing the transformative power of education to realize the ideals of our Creed.
In the aftermath of recent acts of violence, Chancellor Vitter and the leadership of University of Mississippi campuses are asking the university community to be guided by our University Creed, to support one another in these difficult times, and to serve as a model for discourse that will lead to sustainable solutions for the challenges we face as a nation. We will immediately begin a series of community discourses around the university to heal and move forward. The first will take place Thursday evening at 6 p.m. outside the Paris-Yates Chapel.
Our country is hurting as we process the tragic events of this past week. We mourn for everyone. I believe in the transformative effect of higher education and that it has a unique and powerful role to play in our path from here. We must approach each other with respect, with dignity, and through civil discourse. There are no easy answers, but we have strength in our voice and a responsibility to further the conversation.
Last Friday, May 27, Athletic Director Ross Bjork and I issued a joint letter regarding the NCAA Notice of Allegations and the University of Mississippi’s detailed response to the allegations. We will continue to work through the process with the NCAA. To see the entire Notice of Allegations and our response, please go to umncaacase.com.