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From the Desk of the Chancellor

Civility Statement endorsement

April 21, 2015

IUPUI is committed to fostering a campus environment where civility and respect are embraced between and among all campus community members. This commitment is reinforced through initiatives to promote an inclusive campus culture as part of the IUPUI Strategic Plan. It has also been the focus of a two-year campus conversation facilitated by the IUPUI Common Theme Project with the theme “Find Your Voice, Hear My Voice: Creating Civil Conversation.” 

As part of this commitment, I am pleased to give my endorsement to the IUPUI Civility Statement, which reads:

IUPUI Civility Statement 

The IUPUI community has dedicated itself to creating an environment where each individual is valued and can succeed. Our institutional ethic compels us to foster the best possible environment for doing our work as educators, learners, and supporters of the educational process. When our members are prevented from doing their best, the entire community is diminished.

Our commitment to be a diverse and inclusive campus relies on all community members to do their part. While no set of rules or policies can wholly govern human conduct, civility requires respect and a thoughtful and careful balancing of differing points of view.

As members of an institution of higher learning, we must periodically reaffirm the fundamental ethics and values that form the framework for our university. This means fostering a climate of acceptance, mutual respect, academic freedom, and civil discourse. Civil discourse is a form of dialogue that acknowledges and gives voice to one another’s ideas, experiences, and beliefs.

Civility and respect should be extended to all persons regardless of their role, status, or social identity. We encourage everyone to speak and act thoughtfully and judiciously and with respect for one another. We may not always agree with one another, but when we disagree, we are called to respond with civility.

My endorsement reflects the sentiments of many others, including members of the chancellor’s cabinet, faculty and staff councils, Women’s Advisory Council, Equal Opportunity Council and Common Theme Committee. 

The process for developing the statement was initiated by members of the Equal Opportunity Council, including Kim Kirkland, director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, and Dan Griffith, director of the Office for Intergroup Dialogue and Civil Community, both of whom met with many groups and individuals to gain their support and incorporate their input in a deliberative consensus-building process. 

The resulting document reflects the collective hopes of many who envision a campus community where civility is something to which we aspire daily as we learn, work and live at IUPUI. 

I encourage everyone to reflect on the statement, disseminate it broadly, and use it as the basis for conversations in further support of fostering a civil, respectful campus culture. The Equal Opportunity Council is developing plans for dissemination, conversation and education around the statement. 

Please contact Kim Kirkland at 274-2306 or kirkland@iupui.edu and Dan Griffith at 278-4230 or dgriffit@iupui.edu to share your ideas or request that they meet with your group, department or unit to engage in dialogue on the statement and its themes. Thank you.

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