News and Perspectives


A call to students, to our U community

Friday, September 9, 2016
a phot of Abeer Syedah

By Abeer Syedah

It was a summer of deep, national pain that, for too many is not unheard of or atypical. The violence of these past months, for many students, is a headwind that carries a passion for expecting the highest commitment to radical love, equity, and respect from our communities. And we students, the U, Gophers, are indeed a community.

Our student body is vast, with a diversity of experiences, identities, beliefs, and understandings among us. And as an institution of education, often the epicenter for social change, that diversity is our excellence worth celebrating as well as our responsibility worth understanding.


Painful and challenging times, and our work ahead

Thursday, September 8, 2016

by President Eric W. Kaler

From Larpenteur Avenue near our St. Paul campus to the streets of Dallas and the horrors of an Orlando nightclub shooting, this summer's tragedies remind us that we live in painful and challenging times. The despair, passion, and sorrow evoked by acts of violence and hatred in our surrounding community and across the globe can't help but seep into our campus as the school year begins. And the divisive rhetoric of our country's presidential election may heighten tensions.  

Some of you, especially those who are members of communities that have experienced hate and violence, may feel anxiety and worry about the climate on campus. But this issue should matter deeply to all of us, because we each play a role in ensuring an empathetic and respectful community.

I call on each of us to redouble our efforts to create a welcoming, respectful, and inclusive campus. We gather at the University from many different places, perspectives, and identities. Those differences make us better. They should not divide us. 

Read the full message here.

This was an email message sent by President Kaler to University faculty, staff, and students on the Twin Cities campus


31st Annual Silha Lecture: The Politics and Law of the Culture Wars in American Higher Education, 1950-2020

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Featuring Randall L. Kennedy. Sponsored by the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics & Law

October 3, 2016, 7:30 PM, Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

From "culturally offensive" Halloween costumes to protests over controversial speakers to "trigger warnings" in classrooms, debate over freedom of expression only seems new to America's college campuses. These and similar issues have roiled higher education for decades. Randall L. Kennedy, the Michael R. Klein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, will revisit key disputes that are likely to continue to challenge First Amendment principles when he presents "The Politics and Law of the Culture Wars in American Higher Education, 1950-2020." Selected books authored by Professor Kennedy will be available for purchase at a book signing following the lecture.

For more information visit the event page.

Get Involved

Social Justice Leadership Certificate Program

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Students - You are invited to apply! We are connected through multiple social networks, from Twitter to Instagram to Facebook. We are meeting people that we would have never met before, both on campus and on the internet. But even as we connect, we encounter differences in one another. And sometimes we don't know how to bridge those differences. How do we explore and celebrate our differences, while also confronting privilege and oppression?


Introducing the New IDEA Faculty Fellow: A (somewhat surprising) Interview with Sean Garrick

Thursday, September 8, 2016

by Amelie Hyams

There are three things you should know about Sean Garrick, Professor of Mechanical Engineeringand incoming Faculty Fellow for the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy (IDEA). Some of them might surprise you.

  1. He once wanted to be a writer or a poet (and still kind of does).
  2. He wasn’t always good at math.
  3. He credits his academic success to a couple of wonderful mentors and a smart sister.

Garrick has an incredible understanding of fluid physics and computational fluid mechanics. And he truly enjoys his work. He recalls exactly the class he was in when he “fell in love with fluid physics.” It was in his first fluid physics class in his junior year of college. This, and the course he later took in Computational Fluid Mechanics, amazed Garrick. And he was hooked.

Read the full story on the OED blog.


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"Perspectives" stories are the views and opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect any official position of the University of Minnesota.