NORMAL (WEEK) — Illinois State University President Larry Dietz emailed university students, faculty and staff in response to a student protest alleging the school promotes “fake diversity.”
“It troubles me deeply when Illinois State is characterized as not upholding its value of diversity and inclusion, not so much for myself, but for the hundreds of students, faculty and staff members who work tirelessly to provide an inclusive and welcoming environment at the University,” Dietz wrote in the email.
“I believe that students, faculty and staff members should, and in fact must, raise concerns about issues that impact them, and I promise that we take those concerns seriously.”
Dietz also said he understands that some of the university’s diversity initiatives are not always successful and sometimes miss the mark.
Touching directly on the homecoming event that students said was canceled, which led to them speaking out against various disparities they feel minority students face on campus, Dietz wrote:
“At the same time, I also believe you deserve accurate information about a Homecoming event that has received considerable attention. While an event was discussed, it was never contracted or scheduled with the Department of Athletics or any other area of the University. During discussions about a potential event, security concerns were raised, but these are security protocols that apply to the entire University—not just certain groups or individuals.”
He also said the ISU’s volleyball program was not involved with the incident.
To address student concerns Dietz invited them, as well as faculty and staff, to meet with him and the Campus Climate Task Force.