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From the Desk: Provost praises environment that encourages critical thinking, diversity, inclusivity

Feb. 8, 2017

As a member of this community, you are part of the IU family.

Provost Lauren Robel

Lauren Robel | PHOTO BY INDIANA UNIVERSITY

Like many families, we don’t always agree. We are incredibly lucky, however, to live in an environment that exists for the very reason of exploring ideas of all sorts through the lens of critical thinking, research and a baseline set of core values around inclusivity. As a diverse, inclusive, research-focused university, we are poised to address all sorts of differences -- on policy, politics and paths forward -- through productive discussion, reasoned analysis and lively debate.

Our campus recently launched Engaged Conversations, a series of thought-provoking, educational events that bring the IU Bloomington faculty’s expertise together around pressing topical issues.

I hope you’ll join us for upcoming events such as the Feb. 9 Hot Topics workshop “Fact or Fake? The Search for Real News in 2017,” and a Feb. 23 campus forum on the recent executive order imposing travel and immigration restrictions (more on this to come).

That executive order provides opportunities for us to think about important issues of constitutional law, including executive power; immigration and migration; refugee policy; and much more -- all in the context of a global academic community deeply affected by determinations in these realms. 

IU President Michael A. McRobbie issued a statement after the Jan. 27 executive order was announced, and I sent a follow-up letter offering concrete actions and resources for those affected by the order. On Feb. 3, the Trustees of Indiana University passed a resolution reaffirming IU’s commitment to international engagement and openness to the world.

Let’s use the challenges of this era to recommit to the primacy of our mission: knowledge creation, education and civic engagement. Let’s be us. I hope to see you all at these events.

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