Response to events in Charlottesville and on campus

Dear Campus,

We express the deepest sadness for students, staff, faculty, and all in the Charlottesville and UVA communities with the horrific events that led to injury and loss of life this past weekend. Our hearts go out to the members of the Charlottesville community who sought to defy white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and anti-Semitic speech and actions. As a university community, we condemn all acts and vile expressions of hate, violence, racism, and bigotry. We stand on common ground in support of our inclusive campus and reaffirm our commitment to diversity. U administrators want to assure our students that our work creating a safe, welcoming and equitable campus will proceed with passion.

Flyers recently posted on our university campus are not reflective of our values and beliefs. Although the posters were quickly removed, we understand they perpetuated feelings of fear, shock, and concerns about safety. We want you to know we are creating opportunities on campus for critical discussions and open dialogue about race, inclusivity, diversity, and ways we can process these events as a community. Let us be clear: There is no place on the University of Utah campus for hate speech and violent behavior of any kind.

As students, faculty, and staff come back to campus to begin a new academic year, let’s band together as a community and support one another.


David W. Pershing
University of Utah
Lorris Betz
Interim Senior Vice President
for Health Sciences
Ruth V. Watkins
Senior Vice President
for Academic Affairs