While we may not individually understand the pain and sorrow that racist violence has brought upon Mr. George Floyd’s grieving family, we know that this violence has only deepened the historical wounds inflicted upon the African-American community, spurring grief and anger across our country and here in Florida.
We, as the trustees of the University of Florida, can and must do the hard work to ensure that this university contributes to solutions. We must be a beacon of equity, access and opportunity. We must contribute to a just and fair society while ensuring that our pathways to opportunity, access and excellence are open and welcoming to all.
We must have a personal as well as a collective stake in these critical issues and fully embrace our role in guiding the University we love so dearly in doing this meaningful work.
We must listen, learn, understand and take action.
I commit to you today that we will press forward in diversifying our faculty, our student body and our staff. We will make it a priority to ensure we are briefed regularly on where we are making progress and where we are not. We will take the steps available to us as trustees to remove roadblocks and to make progress.
Together, and only together, can we create a culture where equity, access and excellence are the foundation to preparing a diverse workforce and just society that is truly representative of our great state of Florida.