A Message from the Provost:
Dear FAU Family,
It is more important than ever to have a serious conversation about the systemic barriers and biases that impact so many of our community members, particularly our Black faculty, staff, and students. For too long, we have had only surface-level conversations about racism, which have not yielded enough observable changes. Accordingly, I would like us to account for specific actions we will take in academic affairs to proactively engage racist behavior and biased social structures.
We must commit time to have an honest conversation about representation, but my belief is that this first step in and of itself is wholly insufficient. We must make significant progress in demonstrating commitment to our university platforms “Diversity” and “Peace, Justice, and Human Rights” in order to unify and expand efforts that address racism and discrimination. In the Division of Academic Affairs, we will develop implicit bias and anti-racism training for our faculty, staff, and graduate assistants and will investigate the role of culturally responsive and inclusive curricula in our Intellectual Foundations Program. By intentionally examining our differences and varied life experiences, we will be able to create inclusive and respectful teaching, learning, and co-curricular environments that engage and motivate a broad range of faculty, students, and staff.
There are many leaders throughout the university who have expert insight on these issues and can enlighten us about the implications of unstated racist assumptions, institutional barriers, and our historical shortcomings. Therefore, we will constitute a task force to construct a plan for improvement, which includes actions, an aggressive timeline, and clear accountability.
I hope you will join me by taking the first of what must be daily steps forward to suppress the policies and practices that promote discrimination of any kind. Our university was founded to be a model of a different type of university, so together, we should transform academic affairs into a new national model of equity and inclusion at a large public research university.
Bret S. Danilowicz, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs