Texas Christian University’s Board of Trustees and the Office of the Chancellor announced July 14 they are jointly commissioning an initiative to study the university’s historical connections to racism, slavery and the Confederacy.
Unanimously supported by all members of the board, this undertaking to review, understand and transparently share information about the university’s history will make TCU a stronger institution as we plan for the future, the university said in a news release.
Teresa Abi-Nader Dahlberg, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, will lead this initiative and develop a charge that will result in a thorough examination of TCU’s history and recommended actions that provide for a more complete acknowledgment of the university’s past. Detailed information will be released once the charge has been solidified and members have been appointed.
Mark L. Johnson, chairman of TCU’s Board of Trustees, and Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. issued a joint letter to the TCU community:
“This intellectual and shared journey cannot be taken lightly. It will call upon all of us to support academic and subject matter experts in researching and telling more of our story, and will ultimately require broad involvement from campus members, alumni, trustees and community leaders.
“We expect this effort will at times be difficult, but ultimately meaningful and worthwhile. We firmly believe that comprehensively examining and addressing our history will be part of what makes us a more inclusive TCU, providing an even stronger foundation on which to build our future,” the letter said.
In recent years, faculty, students, staff and alumni have implemented programs to improve diversity, equity and inclusion, a board-supported key strategic initiative, to make the campus more welcoming for every member of the university family, the news release said.
Examples include the establishment of Faculty Diversity Advocates in each college/school and the launch of the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which is dedicated to diversifying the academy.
TCU said that this work has already led to new academic and co-curricular experiences for students, the identification and celebration of groundbreaking alumni and administrators and a better connection between TCU’s diversity-related programs and its strategic plans. These programs are just the beginning.
“We must and will do more. In so doing, we will adhere more profoundly to TCU’s Mission Statement and core values, which repudiate all forms of racism,” Johnson and Boschini said. “TCU is grateful for the work completed to date and all the progress that is being made. We are mindful that for many, this effort comes at great personal sacrifice, and it is greatly appreciated.”
– FWBP Staff