Dear faculty, staff, and students,
As we prepare to re-open our campus, the recent events of racial injustice across the country weigh heavily on our minds. In addition to the physical, financial, and emotional toll of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, these events bring forth the painful reality of racial inequality and bigotry that exist and calls us to reflect upon our individual beliefs and institutional values.
As expressed by President Gogue, the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences values and embraces all individuals, opposes hate and exclusion and the acts that promote them. We stand with him in the resolution that they have no place in the Auburn Family.
As a public land-grant university, we are dedicated to fostering diversity and inclusion in all facets of our three-prong mission of education, research, and outreach. As such, we have reaffirmed the goals of the school’s 2017 Inclusion and Diversity Plan within the 2019 – 2024 Strategic Plan, which establishes inclusion as a core value and the following guiding principles:
- We believe diversity in terms of race, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, and so forth contributes to the real-world representation of our workplace and classrooms.
- We are committed to understanding, accepting, and valuing our differences to foster a more creative and innovative learning environment.
- We strive to involve and empower all groups of people to promote a sense of belonging that will support a democratic decision-making process.
- Finally, we believe creating a diverse and inclusive environment is key to attracting and retaining the best and brightest students, faculty, and staff.
We welcome your feedback and wish to encourage an open dialog on these issues so that we may work together toward change and healing. If you have concerns or suggestions that will help us to better support you or assist the ongoing efforts to foster diversity and inclusion in the school and broader community, please reach out to me or the associate deans with your thoughts.
Wishing you peace and safety.
Janaki R.R. Alavalapati, PhD
Dean, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
3301 Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building
602 Duncan Drive, Auburn University
Auburn, Alabama 36849-3418