Reaffirming Our Values, Rebuilding the Social Compact: Campus Forum Nov. 17, Noon

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff

The divisions laid bare by the recent election are stressful, and our campus community is feeling that stress. The electoral process yields outcomes that are celebrated by some, while others feel a sense of loss, fear, and despair. Your departments, colleges and schools, and our campus administrative and health services have provided messages of support and venues for discussion. Please avail yourselves of these services as you feel the need and make use of the opportunities for reflection that are being provided. 

And please consider joining us at an all-campus discussion on Thursday at noon.  As a University campus, we have a responsibility to create a safe, inclusive teaching and learning environment; and as an institution of higher education and research, we also have a special responsibility to address the implications of this election for the future of the social compact that is the foundation of our representative democracy.

The United States seems at the present to be a country divided in so many ways.  How are we at the University of Minnesota—how is the society of this country overall—to (re-)build a sense of shared purpose and shared fate, of mutuality? As we experience changes in political leadership, how are we to address the deep divisions that are so apparent in American society?  What are our roles in and responsibilities to the social compact and the common good?

As we reaffirm our values as a public university and an inclusive learning community, how can we help to address the deep divisions that the nation is experiencing? How can we draw on diverse ideas and perspectives across our campus, the work of researchers and teachers in many departments, and the lived experiences of our students, faculty, and staff, to (re-)build a sense of common ground and shared purpose?

Please join us for a campus-wide discussion of these and related issues:

What:  Reaffirming Our Values, Rebuilding the Social Compact: A Campus Forum
Discussion and open Q&A, hosted by Provost Karen Hanson
Panelists include: John Coleman (Dean of College of Liberal Arts), Fionnuala Ni Aoláin (Professor and Robina Chair in Law, Public Policy, and Society, Law School), Abdi I Samatar (Professor and Chair, Geography, Environment & Society). Moderator: Laura Bloomberg (Associate Dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs)
Thursday, November 17 |  12-1 pm
Multi-Activity Court, 4th floor of UMN Recreation and Wellness Center
123 Harvard Street SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55455

I hope you will join this important community discussion, either in person or online via WebEx (follow this link to connect to the live-streamed event at noon Thursday).


Karen Hanson signature.

Karen Hanson,
Executive Vice President and Provost