In my message to the campus on Saturday, I underscored that “Wesleyan will never retreat from our mission of creating an inclusive and equitable community. We are open to debate, to challenging ideas, but we will never back down in the face of crude bigotry.” Threats of mass deportation is one of the forms that crude bigotry has recently been taking, and this threat is totally at odds with our decision last year to treat undocumented applicants just like other applicants from the United States.
This weekend I have been asked by students and faculty about Wesleyan becoming a sanctuary campus, which means (at the very least) that we would not cooperate with any efforts at mass deportations. I find this a very promising direction, having said that “we will find ways to cultivate the values that sustain our educational community and protect the people who have made it their home.” In the coming days and weeks I will discuss this option with the appropriate offices and Trustees. I will report back to the campus on what we can do in this regard.
Inside Higher Education asked me for further thoughts in the aftermath of the election:
Like many university people, I kept underestimating the phenomenon of Donald Trump. Months ago, I called attention to “The Trumpian Calamity,” hoping that more college presidents and other education leaders would condemn his campaign of hate-filled demagoguery. Now, like so many around the country, I find myself wondering whether I should have done more.
My essay, parts of which come from earlier communications I’ve made to the campus, is here.