Message from the Dean Regarding Recent Tragedies

July 08, 2016

"No words are adequate to describe the anguish and awfulness of the events of the past few days, these building upon the all-too-common episodes of recent weeks and months. These are episodes which lift the curtain on the tragic persistence of racial antagonism and misconduct among agents of the state, targeted too often against communities of color. No one within and from these communities is immune to these actions; and we all have our terrible stories and difficult experiences. Sadly, this is true within our Northwestern community as well."

"As a law school, we cannot and do not remain silent. And there are many ways in which we can use our voice. One way is through the structural commitment to assisting our students through our Student Services office. We lost a great administrator and leader just last week, as Shannon Bartlett, Director of Diversity Education and Outreach, moved on to a senior-level position at another law school. We are moving full speed ahead to fill this important position with someone of high ability, demonstrable experience, and passion. The position will be posted early next week. I am putting together a search committee of faculty, administrators, and students to help me in filling this position. In addition to this, I have given final approval for the creation of another position, this also within the Student Services office, but working across the departments, to aid these efforts and to work collaboratively and constructively with our students of color, to help engage, inspire, listen, and advocate. Our Law School will remain rightly on the forefront of efforts to implement meaningful strategies to enhance the well-being of our diverse students and, as well, to model a community of respect, courage, and justice in the face of brutality and neglect."

"These are, to be sure, incomplete measures. The best work of constructive justice in our community will happen organically, by and with students and faculty, alumni and administrators, all communicating and acting in order to combat injustice where we live and work.  But I want our community to know from my office, and from my heart, that we will be proactive and diligent in getting the right structural pieces in place, and this just as soon as humanly possible."

-- Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez