Dear members of the Geisel community,
As some of you may remember, in response to sadly similar situations that arose in 2017, including the events in Charlottesville and the Trump administration’s travel ban, Geisel set up a Rapid Response Team and set aside specific times for the community to come together to talk with senior leaders about concerns, threats, and frustrations arising from events taking place on both the national and local level, as well as how we could best address those concerns to ensure that our environment is a respectful and supportive place for all.
In 2020, we find ourselves frustrated and saddened by the most recent iterations of systemic oppression and violence against Black Americans - imposed on the backdrop of a pandemic that has magnified racial and socioeconomic disparities that affect our most vulnerable populations. At the same time, the limitations imposed by this pandemic have affected our ability to gather in-person to discuss these issues and how to address them.
Despite the practical restrictions imposed by COVID-19, we write to let you know that we have reconstituted the Rapid Response Team, comprising John Dick, Interim Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education; Bill Eidtson, Director of Academic Skills and Student Accessibility Services; Faith Goodness, Chief of Staff; Leslie Henderson, Dean of Faculty Affairs; Alison Holmes, Associate Dean for Student Affairs; Karissa LeClair, Geisel Student Body President; Roshini Pinto Powell, Associate Dean for Admissions; Craig Westling, Executive Director for Education at TDI; and Diana Wu, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion.
If there are issues that you feel we should discuss either as individuals or address institutionally [i.e., from the Dean(s)], please let any one of us in this group know. We will work to bring the concerns to the appropriate people and to set up ways in which we can discuss and address these issues, recognizing that approaches may vary quite dramatically depending on any number of factors, such as how personal versus policy-focused the issue may be. Everyone in our community (i.e., all students, postdocs, research scientists, faculty, and staff) should feel free to reach out to any of us on the Rapid Response Team.
Second, as in 2017, if you would like to set up times to simply talk out issues with a specific group of people outside of having any single concern or end-point in mind, we can ask our staff in the Dean’s Office to set up a Zoom meeting. In some circumstances, it may be beneficial to have a forum for open and respectful conversations and to brainstorm initiatives that may be useful for the school and the community at large. If you would like to have Geisel set up a larger scale meeting, please reach out to Geisel.Dean’s.Office@dartmouth.edu to do so.