Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns sent a campus-wide email Tuesday updating the university community on the work he has been doing since the Jan. 23 classroom incident.
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Over the past four weeks, Mearns said in the email he has met with several groups and people on campus and in the community who shared their perspectives and expectations. Over the next few weeks, he said he will consult with other campus partners.
“I believe that it is important for us to listen to many voices – to all of the people who share a commitment to mutual respect and inclusive excellence,” he said.
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Mearns said he will ask members of his leadership team to assist him in preparing a “comprehensive action plan,” relying particularly on Marsha McGriff, associate vice president for inclusive excellence, to evaluate recent feedback in the context of the university’s recently released Inclusive Excellence Plan.
“As you may recall, the Plan was disseminated to the campus just a few minutes before the incident occurred,” he said. “That incident, as well as other similar challenges, bring into clear relief why our Plan is so important — and why our work is urgently needed.”
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He said many of the suggestions and recommendations that the university has recently received are embedded into this plan.
Mearns asked for the campus community’s assistance with two things — to have patience in allowing him to “prepare a thoughtful response” to the recommendations and requests he has received, and for the community to join him as partners in this work.
“Our goal is an ambitious one: to create a campus climate and culture where every person is welcome, respected, and valued,” he said. “We can only achieve this goal if we join our voices and our hands together.”