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Welcome back to campus. I hope you had a wonderful summer and a chance to recharge before our new academic year begins on Monday.
I hope you will go out of your way to greet new and returning students, welcoming them to campus and making them feel part of a safe and encouraging campus community. Help answer new students’ questions. Point them in the right direction for information or resources they need. Show them you care, and that we support them in their efforts to reach their full potential.
I ask you to be particularly mindful of creating a welcoming environment for all of our increasing diverse student body. Recent headlines reflect the troubling and, unfortunately, persistent news of hate and fear in our country. Interim President Allen provided a powerful message this week in the wake of the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia: "Hatred, racism and bigotry have no place at Iowa State University."
As you go about all your preparations for the semester, consider rereading ISU’s Principles of Community. If you wish, print and post them in your office, class, lab or hallway bulletin board. These principles represent the foundation of our campus community, and speak to the importance of an open, diverse and inclusive campus.
We have an exciting academic year ahead of us, as we continue to accommodate near-record enrollments from students all around the world. For years the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has been ranked as one of the very best colleges in the world. We pride ourselves on how we educate and mentor our students. We pride ourselves on providing them with many opportunities for growth and success in and out of the classroom. I ask for your help in continuing our level of excellence with a firm, unbending commitment to overcome biases and hate and to eliminate incidents of bigotry, racism, disrespect and misunderstanding.
Again, welcome to another academic year at Iowa State. Let’s work together to make it an exceptional one for all our students.
Endowed Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Director, Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics