From Kevin’s Desk: When we know better, we do better (02/10/17)

Dear Colleagues,

Happy Friday! Yesterday our February B&F leadership forum featured remarks by Sonya Jacobs, our new Chief Organizational Learning Officer. In this important role, Sonya is building a full suite of leadership development courses for the entire university. Her team will also provide central training resources around diversity, equity and inclusion. I am very proud of B&F’s role in implementing this much-needed service for the university. You can read more about Sonya and her new role on our website.

Creating a culture of learning requires adopting a positive attitude about personal growth. Maya Angelou said: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” This perspective speaks to the heart of our strategic goals around leadership and creating a great place to work, and is also central to our plan to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in B&F. Staff across the organization have participated in a variety of DE&I-related trainings and events this year, with many more planned over the next few months. I’m so pleased that so many of you are committed to helping us do better by learning together, and I look forward to continuing to learn with you.

This week hateful and threatening emails were sent to members of our University of Michigan community at the College of Engineering by an as yet unknown assailant. The content in these forged emails was absolutely abhorrent. We try very hard to prevent such hateful and illegal acts, but it is impossible to completely stop them. I ask you to join me in responding to such attacks by reminding ourselves and educating others that these detestable acts do not represent our Michigan Values and who we are as a community. Education is our core mission, and it is the best weapon we have against ignorance and intolerance.

Thank you for all you do to make our campus a safe and welcoming place.

With much gratitude and appreciation,