Addressing Our Difficult and Painful Moment

April 2, 2021

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

On behalf of myself, the President’s Cabinet, and our school deans, I want to address this very difficult and painful moment we are all experiencing as a campus community. I accept that we haven’t handled either the process or the decision of the building naming matter as well as we should have. Our intent was to be thoughtful, thorough, and respectful, but the response proves we have further to go to meet our objectives. We understand the hurt, dismay, and anger, and we are resolved to forging a path forward that demonstrates our collective commitment to UR’s shared values of equity, inclusivity, diversity, and ethical engagement.

Those values have not been on display recently, including during the meetings held last week with faculty, staff, and students. The experience of those in attendance, especially one of our staff colleagues, was inconsistent with our stated values and expectations for our community. For that, I am truly sorry.

At this moment, we are in active conversation across the University and with the Board of Trustees, and we all share a desire to find a way forward, specifically with respect to the process of naming of all buildings, and to continue to prioritize the well-being of our students, staff, and faculty. Our discussions are ongoing and complex, and in the next couple of weeks we will be engaging members of the community to generate specific ideas on how best to move forward constructively. We humbly ask for your patience and your participation as we develop our plans and continue to work with the Board.

We also know the weariness our community feels as a result of the pandemic and the exceptional efforts of so many that have allowed us to meet that challenge. My hope — indeed, belief — is that we will again come together, united by the values that we all share as Spiders, and find grace with one another as we pursue our steadfast and unwavering commitment to ensuring a welcoming and inclusive community for all.


Ronald A. Crutcher