ULS President’s Newsletter | Fall Term 2018-19
Volume I, Issue 15
Dear ULS Community,
The ULS Board of Trustees had a fruitful meeting last week, and it was my first Trustees meeting since taking over as interim president in May 2018. The board addressed many issues of paramount importance over the two days of meetings, and I think significant progress was made on issues such as:
- Establishing a working group to begin the process of searching for a new permanent president of ULS.
- Approving a motion from the Academic and Leadership Committee “to support the direction of the Faculty Permanency Task Force (FPTF) and encourage more detail as it relates to the commitment to faculty and institutional flexibility” as the task force develops a plan on faculty permanence.
- Inviting the LTSG Alumni Council and the LTSP Alumni Board to designate a representative to attend future meetings of the Board of Trustees.
- Addressing student concerns that communication is not as clear as it could be between all members of the ULS community.
However, the most important issue that the board dealt with during its time together was to create opportunities to identify, own, address and eliminate systemic racism, as well as racism of any kind, here at ULS.
Following last week’s meeting, Board Chair Peter D. Boehringer, on behalf of the Board, acknowledged “with sorrow” that unaddressed vestiges of the systemic racism still remain at ULS and that, if the promise of healing is to be experienced, this sin must not be ignored.
The board has listened to many members of our community, and the hurtful effects of racism on our campuses, and is working through a process of reflection and repentance to begin to heal the hurts that racism has caused in our community.
The board is prayerfully determined to identify, own, address, and eliminate racism on our campuses, beginning with ongoing training for Board members in anti-racism and inclusivity. The board also made a commitment to invite a more diverse representation, at the board level, that would mirror the diverse community of our institution.
The board applauded the community’s work in beginning to craft a Welcome and Equity Statement, with full community participation in town hall sessions last month and is awaiting a final draft of the statement to include in its own commitment to inclusiveness.
I would like to extend to all members of the ULS Community, in the name of Jesus, an invitation to healing. An invitation of healing to those who have been wounded and an invitation for those who have wounded (intentionally, unintentionally or as part of a system), an invitation to seek the healing promise of the Christ—that we might begin to reflect the image of Jesus and the Kingdom of God.
Just and merciful God, support us, we ask, in our continuing efforts as an institution to address the racism in our midst, and to shield our community from the pernicious effects of systemic racism in our world. Guide our leaders to open their hearts and minds as they confront the sins that we have been guilty of, to reflect on them honestly, and to repent of them with their whole hearts. Help us move forward into a new day in which we can revel in the beauty of your diversity and confront injustice without fear. In the name of your son, our savior Jesus Christ, we pray.