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A Message From The Dean

September 7, 2017

LaurieMcCauley 2017.jpgAs we approach the beginning of a new academic year, I would like to take this time to welcome everyone in our community – faculty, staff and students – to a new semester of learning, service, discovery, and the opportunity to renew our common commitments.  This year marks the 142nd year for the School of Dentistry and the 200th year for the university. Go Blue!

The Labor Day holiday is also an appropriate moment for us as we honor the achievements and contributions of American workers who have given so much in the development and continued prosperity of our country.  So, too, have all of you contributed to our strength as a pre-eminent dental school dedicated to education, research, patient care and the advancement of our profession.

It is also important at this time to acknowledge recent events that have been harmful and a threat to creating and supporting the diverse, equitable and inclusive environment at our school and across campus.  As some of you may know, late last week, disparaging graffiti was found on the Rock after Latino students left welcoming messages for their group, Assisting Latinos to Maximize Achievement (ALMA).  President Schlissel, at the new student convocation on Friday, made it clear that we welcome all who come to Ann Arbor. He emphasized “We are proud you have decided to pursue your education at the University of Michigan. You make us a stronger university and enrich our community and nation by your many talents, hard work, and the diverse perspectives and life experiences you bring to campus.”

Dr. Rob Sellers, Vice Provost for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer for the university also provided comment on the incident and you can read his response here.  We share Dr. Sellers’ sentiments that while disappointing and disgraceful, this incident will not alter our commitment to continuing to provide an inclusive and compassionate environment for everyone at our school.

At the School of Dentistry, we believe that our humanistic learning environment and the Multicultural Affairs Committee (MAC) help us make sense of things in difficult times.  There are a number of additional resources – within the school and across campus – to assist and support everyone, including:

  • For students here at Dentistry, Pamela Harnick provides in-house support through the Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) program.
  • The CAPS program is also available across campus for students with additional services including articles on “Navigating a Complex World.
  • Finally, the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FASAP) provides a number of services for emotional health and well-being.

As we continue this journey together this year, I want you to know how much we appreciate everyone who has chosen to be part of the School of Dentistry and University of Michigan at this time.  We celebrate and are strengthened by our differences and have so much to gain by listening, trusting each other and working together toward our common goals.

Best wishes for the year ahead,

Laurie McCauley

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