A Statement from the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

June 5, 2020

The killing of George Floyd has again made obvious the racism that pervades American society. His death revives the pain of so many other such killings. It occurs in the context of global crises — from the COVID-19 pandemic to climate change — that are doing the greatest damage in communities of color.

Personally and as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, I hold dear the values underlying education in the liberal arts and sciences: open-mindedness, curiosity, commitment to learning based on facts. These values are essential to the creation of a free and just society. And while anyone may espouse these values, I believe that those who are privileged to participate in higher education have a specific duty to reflect upon and commit to them.

Racism is antithetical to the values of an education in the liberal arts and sciences. While a free society is grounded in freedom of speech, racist social media posts (to name just one timely example) have no place in higher education. As an educator, I welcome students to the University of Maine to learn with open minds, unimpaired by hatred or prejudice.

To students of color in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: you are worthy and respected members of this college. The path you travel is not an easy one, and encouraging voices may not always call out to you when your need is greatest, though the University offers support through the Multicultural Student Center and the Office of Student Life, among others. You are welcome to contact me directly or through the Dean’s Office email address at clas@maine.edu.

Emily A. Haddad
Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences