November 9, 2016

Dear campus community, 

The results of yesterday’s election came as a surprise to most of us, regardless of our political views.  It will take time for us to process and understand the meaning of the vote, both because we face a period of uncertainty and transition, and because the vote followed a deeply divisive and polarizing campaign.  The election season has witnessed a pervasive rhetoric of intolerance across our nation, which has been a cause of alarm and concern for many of us.  As a campus community, we must use this moment to reaffirm our own values of respect and inclusion, while working together to preserve academic freedom, fearless inquiry, and diversity.  We must support each other at this time, and express solidarity with all groups and individuals who may fear for the future.  Above all, we must not lose sight of our commitment to the greater good, to our collective commitment to the improvement of our society and our world. I am confident that together we have both the will and the ability to rise above the rancor, as Berkeley continues to embody the best of what a free, open, and inclusive society should be.  

Nicholas B. Dirks