Wednesday, Dec. 11

The University is operating on a regular schedule.

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UHart Unity

The University of Hartford is Committed to CommUNITY. Our students are from 48 states and 46 countries and our undergraduate minority student representation is 40 percent, one of the highest percentages at colleges in the Northeast. We proudly embrace our diversity in our value statement and celebrate it through programs and events.

Angela Davis

Academic, activist, and author,

Academic, activist, and author Angela Yvonne Davis was the keynote speaker at the University's 13th annual "Keeping the Dream Alive" observance of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in February. Davis received an honorary degree during the program

Learn more

Let us not look up to Dr. King as a man who towered so far above us that we cannot imagine achieving his height

Zachary Wood

23 year-old Zachary Wood is one of the speakers brought to campus in February, 2019 as part of a series of events designed to encourage diversity of thought. Wood encourages uncomfortable conversations:

Learn more about why he encourages uncomfortable conversations

Try listening, reserving judgement, and giving undivided attention. There’s no playbook for every scenario. You may not get very far in the conversation. But there is value in trying, so eventually and hopefully we can come together and create a better future.

UHart’s 12-Point Plan for Action

President Woodward released this Immediate Plan for Action to the campus community on Wednesday, Nov. 8. This plan, the result of conversations with and input from our UHart community, is not an exhaustive list; it is one in progress, to be shaped as we continue to learn from each other and outside experts. These actions are the first steps in a series of efforts that bring our community together.

  1. This fall semester, the University will host a community observance to affirm our commitment to confronting issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion directly and openly. I am forming an inclusive committee of faculty, staff, and students to work together to evaluate how to best bring the campus together for meaningful discussion, sharing, and action-planning.
  2. We will begin a campus dialogue about the creation of an educational series that will be the centerpiece of an annual diversity awareness calendar for the University moving forward. Towards this end, we will plan and create a focused day committed to these efforts and an extended series of programs for the spring semester.
  3. For the remainder of the fall semester, I will host regular sessions and workshops for the campus community to share and engage in discussion and learning. I invite the UHart community to join me each Friday—students in the private dining room in University Commons at noon, and faculty and staff for coffee at 2 p.m. in the GSU café. A number of other opportunities—including meetings with multicultural group student leaders, student government, regional community leaders, and faculty and staff organizations—are also being planned. We will update the campus community regularly to provide opportunities for participation.
  4. There will be an immediate and full review of our current policies and procedures as they relate to reports of discrimination and harassment, with a goal of systematically identifying areas in need of adjustment or improvement. This review will include an assessment of the accessibility and communication of information about reporting options and campus resources. New approaches for communicating this information to the campus community are already being identified and a new website will be created to house all related information in one place. The LiveSafe App, a new tool rolled out earlier this year for anonymous reporting, will also be promoted more broadly. The review will also include an assessment of how information about conduct matters and threat assessment is shared internally between and among responding departments within the University. This review will also explore the adequacy of existing supports and resources for students and employees, including potential access to victim advocacy.
  5. The Department of Human Resources, in coordination with the Office of the Provost, will immediately create a campus committee to enhance our diversity efforts in hiring and training of faculty and staff. Its goal will be to develop new guidelines, strategies, and structures to ensure that diversity remains a high priority in faculty and staff recruitment and hiring.
  6. Expanded training opportunities will be aggressively explored across campus. Bias training for staff in Residential Life and Public Safety will be immediately reviewed and continue to be mandatory. Later goals will include mandatory workshops for all current and new employees to fulfill an expectation of competency in cross-cultural awareness and inclusion.
  7. The Office of the Provost has begun developing a database of internal and external resources to help faculty facilitate discussion of diversity and inclusion within their departments and classrooms. These resource materials will be available to the entire campus community and our goal is to establish an ongoing faculty learning group committed to maintaining and shaping these resources. I will also ask the Faculty Senate and Staff Association to host open discussions in which to explore ways that faculty and staff can encourage robust conversations on student-learning goals surrounding issues of diversity in the fullest sense.
  8. The Provost will begin a faculty conversation about cultural competence and education as addressed, or not addressed, in our Institutional Learning Goals, with an examination of the possible creation of a University-wide learning component dedicated to these specific diversity learning goals.
  9. Led by a partnership between academic and student affairs, Orientation programming for first-year and transfer students will include a specific series of activities focused on issues of diversity and inclusion. The further engagement of Resident Assistants and Resident Directors in this effort throughout the year will be explored and implemented.
  10. In August 2017, I convened a body of three co-chairs (DeLois Lindsey, Karen Tejada, and Jane Horvath) to form a standing committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The committee is ready to be expanded to include representation from areas across campus. For the immediate future—as we explore other positions or people the University may need—this committee will be the hub that seeks to connect our efforts across campus; articulate the definition of diversity, inclusion, and equity at UHart; and hold the campus accountable for a commitment to action. I will also explore the possible future addition of a campus leadership position to lead these efforts.
  11. We will create a President’s Community Advisory Council to further build partnerships with our neighbors and region, and to find more pathways for students and faculty/staff to be engaged in community projects and education.
  12. A website will be created to keep the campus community informed on these efforts, future initiatives, and campus event opportunities.

Progress on 12-Point Plan

Point 1 Update

This fall semester (2017), the University will host a community observance to affirm our commitment to confronting issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion directly and openly. I am forming an inclusive committee of faculty, staff, and students to work together to evaluate how to best bring the campus together for meaningful discussion, sharing, and action planning.

Nov. 12, 2018

Affirming Inclusivity: A Not on My Campus Celebration was held on Tues. Oct. 2, 2018.

Students, faculty, and staff gathered to celebrate the University’s commitment to affirming diversity, equity, and inclusion on Oct. 2 with its second “Not on My Campus” celebration. The day began with a banner that campus community members could sign being available at different locations on campus. Then at 5 p.m. campus community members gathered at the Commons for food, games, and honest conversation about inclusivity and about on-campus myths about opportunities open to students.

During the event, Shaily Prajapati, an Economics and Finance major and president of the International students association made these remarks about inclusivity.

March 13, 2018 Update:

“Not On My Campus," a student-organized campus wide unity event, was held in the Commons Dining Hall on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. Over 800 students, faculty, and staff came together to eat multicultural cuisine prepared by Aramark, participate in table discussions  and games created and led by student organizations, and watch entertainment performed by student groups and alumni. The event goals were to create safe spaces for dialogue, support and nurture conversations with other campus community members, and open eyes to the realization that the collective “WE” must share in the responsibility of listening, talking  and learning from one another.

As they arrived, attendees were welcomed with a red carpet, a hologram of the “Not on my Campus” logo on the wall of the building, and an open participation drum circle led by alumnus Leonard Epps.

As they entered Commons, attendees signed the "Not On My Campus" banner, affirming their commitment to confronting and righting issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. They also received a ticket for a drawing to win dining dollars and a free parking space. Members of different student organizations staffed each game and discussion table. Participating organizations included Multicultural Organizations, Icon Yearbook, Unified Theater, Physical Therapy Student Association, Residential Housing Association, Student Government Association, Red Caps, Hawk Hall Community Service Floor, Society of Women Engineers, Women's Ultimate Frisbee Team, PANHEL, IFC, and AEPi.

The games and discussions took place in 15-minute intervals so attendees could participate in several of them. President Woodward and the presidents of the multicultural organizations moderated, announced when the 15-minute intervals were over, and introduced entertainment by the UHA Steppaz, Fenomena, and Leonard Epps.

Point 2 Update

 

We will begin a campus dialogue about the creation of an educational series that will be the centerpiece of an annual diversity awareness calendar for the University moving forward. Towards this end, we will plan and create a focused day committed to these efforts and an extended series of programs for the spring semester.

March 13, 2018 Update:

This will be one of the projects of the committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion committee (see point 10). Additionally, programs and events that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion have been posted throughout the spring semester on the diversity awareness event page of hartford.edu/uhartunity.

Point 3 update

For the remainder of the fall (2017) semester, I will host regular sessions and workshops for the campus community to share and engage in discussion and learning. I invite the UHart community to join me each Friday—students in the private dining room in University Commons at noon, and faculty and staff for coffee at 2 p.m. in the GSU café.  A number of other opportunities—including meetings with multicultural group student leaders, student government, regional community leaders, and faculty and staff organizations—are also being planned. We will update the campus community regularly to provide opportunities for participation.

March 13, 2018 Update:

The Wednesday sessions with students and faculty and staff continued until the end of the fall 2017 semester and resumed when classes began again in January 2018. The 2018 sessions combine students, faculty, and staff in one session on Wednesdays from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

A second campus-wide event, a Leadership Quest student/faculty/staff mixer, was scheduled twice but cancelled due to weather both times. It will now be held in fall 2018. The mixer will be an opportunity for students to get to know a broad array of faculty and staff.

President Woodward and members of his cabinet have held meetings with representatives of the Greater Caribbean community and the West Hartford Commission on Human Rights to develop closer ties to these communities and determine how they can be supportive of the campus community.

Point 4 Update

There will be an immediate and full review of our current policies and procedures as they relate to reports of discrimination and harassment, with a goal of systematically identifying areas in need of adjustment or improvement. This review will include an assessment of the accessibility and communication of information about reporting options and campus resources.

New approaches for communicating this information to the campus community are already being identified and a new website will be created to house all related information in one place.

The LiveSafe App, a new tool rolled out earlier this year (2017) for anonymous reporting, will also be promoted more broadly.

The review will also include an assessment of how information about conduct matters and threat assessment is shared internally between and among responding departments within the University. This review will also explore the adequacy of existing supports and resources for students and employees, including potential access to victim advocacy.

March 13, 2018 Update:

Student Affairs is in the midst of reviewing The Source, our Student Handbook related to both the Code of Student Conduct and our definitions, policies, and procedures.  We are also looking at accessibility and communication related to reporting options, campus resources, and response time.

We have determined that we must follow FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) in conduct cases in regards to sharing student records.  In cases where there is a student “victim” we will assign an advocate to that student so that they will have support and are kept up-to-date on the progress of the conduct process.

We expect this review to be completed by March 30, 2018.

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) will continue its process of report review and dissemination in accordance with its policy and procedures.  Upon receipt of an incident report, the Director will review its contents for accuracy and the thoroughness of the investigation. Compliance with all applicable Clery regulations is then checked.  This includes the proper classification of the incident, the possible need for the issuance of a crime alert, a community safety notice, or timely warning. Any report that could possibly involve a Clery defined hate crime is further reviewed against Connecticut General Statutes pertaining the deprivation of rights, desecration of property, and intimidation based on bigotry or bias to ensure nothing is overlooked.

Before the review process is completed the Professional Standards and Compliance Officer will review the report for all applicable compliance details and track any patterns of concerning behavior.  Once this has been completed, the reports will be electronically disseminated to all applicable administrative offices for the notification of incident and follow up action if required. As an ongoing quality assurance check, DPS administrators will randomly review the body cameras that are assigned to the DPS officers in the routine performance of their duties as they interact with the community.  This inspectional review is to ensure our compliance with our customer service values, departmental policies, and code of conduct that our officers must adhere to in the performance of their duties.

The Office of Marketing and Communication is consulted when Clery regulations mandate formal notification or if it is determined in the best interest of the campus safety to send out a notification to the community.

A table at which attendees could learn about the LiveSafe app was at the “Not On My Campus” event and tabling has been done in both Commons and GSU. Information also was distributed at President Woodward’s Wednesday meetings. Information about the app also was included in the Informer and in UNotes. Learn more about LiveSafe and downloading the app here.

Point 5 update

The Department of Human Resources, in coordination with the Office of the Provost, will immediately create a campus committee to enhance our diversity efforts in hiring and training of faculty and staff.  Its goal will be to develop new guidelines, strategies, and structures to ensure that diversity remains a high priority in faculty and staff recruitment and hiring.

March 13, 2018 Update:

This group is being chaired by Fred Sweitzer, Provost.  He has assembled a group to examine recruiting and retention of a diverse staff and faculty.  Specific issues under examination include

  • an analysis of the current gender and racial demographics of our faculty and staff, both in general, by job group and by unit
  • an analysis of strategies and funding streams to support the development of relationships with colleges and universities that prepare a larger number of current and future women and minority faculty
  • an analysis of strategies and funding streams to support the development of relationships with community connections best positioned to serve as resources for the University to attract a larger number of women and minorities for faculty and staff positions
  • implicit bias training for all involved in search processes
  • analysis and strengthening of current efforts to support and retain faculty and staff in an effort to more effectively meet the needs and concerns of women and minorities.

Point 6 Update

Expanded training opportunities will be aggressively explored across campus. Bias training for staff in Residential Life and Public Safety will be immediately reviewed and continue to be mandatory. Later goals will include mandatory workshops for all current and new employees to fulfill an expectation of competency in cross-cultural awareness and inclusion.

March 13, 2018 Update:

Implicit bias training has been completed for all Residence Life staff members and has been done for Resident Assistants as a regular, mandatory part of their fall training package for some time. In addition this fall, Julia Golden-Battle, Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at MCPHS and a chair of NASPA’s Gender and Sexuality Knowledge Community, conducted a half-day session with all RAs around social justice and diversity. and all CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) clinical staff attended a diversity and social justice training offered through UHart’s GIPP (Graduate Institute of Professional Psychology )program.

Implicit bias training is a routine part of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Officer Training Cycle. DPS will continue its progressive tiered training agenda that includes diversity training, fair and impartial policing programing, along with several courses that focus on de-escalation methods and tactics.

Point 7 update

The Office of the Provost has begun developing a database of internal and external resources to help faculty facilitate discussion of diversity and inclusion within their departments and classrooms. These resource materials will be available to the entire campus community and our goal is to establish an ongoing faculty learning group committed to maintaining and shaping these resources.

I will also ask the Faculty Senate and Staff Association to host open discussions in which to explore ways that faculty and staff can encourage robust conversations on student-learning goals surrounding issues of diversity in the fullest sense.

March 13, 2018 Update:

This database is being assembled with the help of the President’s Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Point 8 update

The Provost will begin a faculty conversation about cultural competence and education as addressed, or not addressed, in our Institutional Learning Goals, with an examination of the possible creation of a University-wide learning component dedicated to these specific diversity learning goals.

March 13, 2018 Update:

Each spring the Office of the Provost sponsors a Curriculum Festival, featuring a guest speaker and time for each of the colleges to meet and discuss areas of curricular concern and opportunity.  This year’s event will focus on Diversity and the Curriculum and will feature Professor Ellen Cohn of the University of Pittsburgh, one of the editors of the recent book Diversity Across the Curriculum: A Guide for Faculty in Higher Education. In addition, the Provost has assembled a committee from all  schools and colleges to discuss a working definition of Cultural Competence and help each academic department think about how to diversify its offerings.

Point 9 update

Led by a partnership between academic and student affairs, Orientation programming for first-year and transfer students will include a specific series of activities focused on issues of diversity and inclusion. The further engagement of Resident Assistants and Resident Directors in this effort throughout the year will be explored and implemented.

March 13, 2018 Update:

The Director of the Center for Student Success and Orientation Mike Ormsby has secured the services of “Dialogues on Diversity” to present  a mandatory session for all new students during “Lift Off” in the fall. "Dialogues on Diversity" is a nationally recognized professional group that presents on diversity, equity, and inclusion in a way that is accessible to all students.  Programs on diversity, equity, and inclusion have been a regular topic of programming in the residence halls for some time now and are part of the newly developed “Residential Learning Model” student training on diversity, equity, and inclusion that will be implemented in the fall.

Point 10 update

In August 2017, I convened a body of three co-chairs (DeLois Lindsey, Karen Tejada, and Jane Horvath) to form a standing committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The committee is ready to be expanded to include representation from areas across campus. For the immediate future—as we explore other positions or people the University may need—this committee will be the hub that seeks to connect our efforts across campus; articulate the definition of diversity, inclusion, and equity at UHart; and hold the campus accountable for a commitment to action.

I will also explore the possible future addition of a campus leadership position to lead these efforts.

March 13, 1018 Update:

The membership of the President’s Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has expanded to 25 including three undergraduate students. The committee members are listed on the Committee’s webpage.

The committee met four times since the start of the spring 2018 semester, meeting every other Friday from 2-3:30 pm. At its early meetings, they reviewed their initial charge and the directive in item 10, then began considering how to best organize and structure their work. To that end, the committee has formed three subcommittees to address the three tasks identified in item 10.  They are:

  1. Connecting Efforts Across Campus
  2. Articulating a Definition of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UHart
  3. Holding the Campus Accountable for a Commitment to Action

The subcommittees will bring their work back to the full Committee.  Action plans and policy and programming recommendations will come from the full committee.

The committee works with the Office of Marketing and Communication and with units across campus to identify and promote programs and events that should be listed on the Diversity Awareness Event Calendar on hartford.edu/uhartunity.  

Moving forward, the Committee will work on sponsoring a program or series of programs for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Point 11 update

We will create a President’s Community Advisory Council to further build partnerships with our neighbors and region, and to find more pathways for students and faculty/staff to be engaged in community projects and education.

 

July 17, 2018 Update:

The President's Community Advisory Council held it's first meeting. See story here.

June 4, 2018

President Greg Woodward announced that Christine Grant has been appointed Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Community Engagement. See the announcement here.

March 13, 2018 Update:

The University’s External Relations Manager Christine Grant is working to create this council.

Point 12 update

A website will be created to keep the campus community informed on these efforts, future initiatives, and campus event opportunities.

March 13, 2018 Update:

The webpage hartford.edu/uhartunity is live. It includes upcoming diversity-awareness programs and events and a synopsis of past events.

Letters from President Gregory S. Woodward

November 8, 2017

President Woodward has been in frequent communication with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents. His messages members of our community are below:

November 8, 2017

Dear University of Hartford Community,

Over the last week, our community has engaged in thoughtful and emotional meetings and conversations focusing and reflecting upon the recent events on campus. These conversations have been productive and provocative, and I will ensure that there will continue to be informal and formal opportunities for shared discourse as an impetus for meaningful change.

A number of suggestions for action have emerged from these many discussions. What is clear to me is that each person and unit on campus has a part to play in moving forward. Here is a partial list of activities that have risen to the top of what will soon become a complete action plan for our campus around issues of equity, inclusion, and diversity. This is not an exhaustive list; it is an effort in progress, to be shaped as we continue to learn from each other and outside experts. My hope is that this set of actions will be the first steps in a series of ongoing efforts that raise consciousness about these critical issues, engage in communal learning by embracing the tension inherent in confronting discrimination and harassment, and bring our community together to create new programs, initiatives, and learning goals at the University.

An Immediate Plan for Action

  1. This fall semester, the University will host a community observance to affirm our commitment to confronting issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion directly and openly. I am forming an inclusive committee of faculty, staff, and students to work together to evaluate how to best bring the campus together for meaningful discussion, sharing, and action-planning.
  2. We will begin a campus dialogue about the creation of an educational series that will be the centerpiece of an annual diversity awareness calendar for the University moving forward. Towards this end, we will plan and create a focused day committed to these efforts and an extended series of programs for the spring semester.
  3. For the remainder of the fall semester, I will host regular sessions and workshops for the campus community to share and engage in discussion and learning. I invite the UHart community to join me each Friday—students in the private dining room in University Commons at noon, and faculty and staff for coffee at 2 p.m. in the GSU café. A number of other opportunities—including meetings with multicultural group student leaders, student government, regional community leaders, and faculty and staff organizations—are also being planned. We will update the campus community regularly to provide opportunities for participation.
  4. There will be an immediate and full review of our current policies and procedures as they relate to reports of discrimination and harassment, with a goal of systematically identifying areas in need of adjustment or improvement. This review will include an assessment of the accessibility and communication of information about reporting options and campus resources. New approaches for communicating this information to the campus community are already being identified and a new website will be created to house all related information in one place. The LiveSafe App, a new tool rolled out earlier this year for anonymous reporting, will also be promoted more broadly. The review will also include an assessment of how information about conduct matters and threat assessment is shared internally between and among responding departments within the University. This review will also explore the adequacy of existing supports and resources for students and employees, including potential access to victim advocacy.
  5. The Department of Human Resources, in coordination with the Office of the Provost, will immediately create a campus committee to enhance our diversity efforts in hiring and training of faculty and staff. Its goal will be to develop new guidelines, strategies, and structures to ensure that diversity remains a high priority in faculty and staff recruitment and hiring.
  6. Expanded training opportunities will be aggressively explored across campus. Bias training for staff in Residential Life and Public Safety will be immediately reviewed and continue to be mandatory. Later goals will include mandatory workshops for all current and new employees to fulfill an expectation of competency in cross-cultural awareness and inclusion.
  7. The Office of the Provost has begun developing a database of internal and external resources to help faculty facilitate discussion of diversity and inclusion within their departments and classrooms. These resource materials will be available to the entire campus community and our goal is to establish an ongoing faculty learning group committed to maintaining and shaping these resources. I will also ask the Faculty Senate and Staff Association to host open discussions in which to explore ways that faculty and staff can encourage robust conversations on student-learning goals surrounding issues of diversity in the fullest sense.
  8. The Provost will begin a faculty conversation about cultural competence and education as addressed, or not addressed, in our Institutional Learning Goals, with an examination of the possible creation of a University-wide learning component dedicated to these specific diversity learning goals.
  9. Led by a partnership between academic and student affairs, Orientation programming for first-year and transfer students will include a specific series of activities focused on issues of diversity and inclusion. The further engagement of Resident Assistants and Resident Directors in this effort throughout the year will be explored and implemented.
  10. In August 2017, I convened a body of three co-chairs (DeLois Lindsey, Karen Tejada, and Jane Horvath) to form a standing committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The committee is ready to be expanded to include representation from areas across campus. For the immediate future—as we explore other positions or people the University may need—this committee will be the hub that seeks to connect our efforts across campus; articulate the definition of diversity, inclusion, and equity at UHart; and hold the campus accountable for a commitment to action. I will also explore the possible future addition of a campus leadership position to lead these efforts.
  11. We will create a President’s Community Advisory Council to further build partnerships with our neighbors and region, and to find more pathways for students and faculty/staff to be engaged in community projects and education.
  12. A website will be created to keep the campus community informed on these efforts, future initiatives, and campus event opportunities.

We must challenge ourselves to engage in respectful and meaningful dialogue and educational initiatives that enhance and better our community. We must strive to be a model for society at large as a place of cultural understanding and sensitivity. We must hold diversity in its many forms close to our mission. And we must be mindful and conscious of believing in and practicing active inclusion for each member of our community.

I look forward to your comments and suggestions, and to the dialogue and action ahead of us. Please send your ideas or thoughts – now or in the future—to unity@hartford.edu.

Thank you,
Greg Woodward
President

November 3, 2017

I would like to provide an update on action steps being taken on campus in response to one of our students being the victim of disgraceful acts by another student. As I have previously shared, the individual responsible is no longer a student at the University of Hartford, has been arrested by the West Hartford Police Department, and the case will proceed through the legal process. While the University is limited in our ability to legally answer many of the questions raised, we are working diligently to provide details and action steps surrounding this situation.

I continue to pledge my personal commitment to make sure the victim has all available personal and academic resources the University can provide. I am confident that the student body, the administration, and everyone here at the University will continue to support and show kindness to this member of our community. As our Student Government Association president, Bryson P. Owens ’18, put beautifully, “What inspires me about the campus community's reaction is the sight of human compassion, love, and support for a fellow student.”

The harsh reality is that racism in America is part of our reality. It is here on our campus and on campuses across the country. We are a reflection of the society at large. It is disturbing and inexcusable, and needs our constant attention and vigilance. We must all speak up, speak out, and be relentless in our pursuit of a more inclusive environment for our students. Acts of racism, bias, or other abusive behaviors will not be tolerated in any way, shape, or form on this campus.

There is work to be done at our University. That work has already begun. This past Wednesday night, more than 400 students, faculty, administrators, alumni, representatives from the NAACP, and community leaders attended a student-led meeting. They voiced concerns, asked questions, and offered suggestions for steps we can take to address real issues of inclusivity on our campus. Those discussions continued yesterday as I met individually with students in our campus dining hall and then hosted a two-hour forum with our faculty and staff last evening.

We will continue providing opportunities for students and our community to make their voices heard. I will do whatever is needed to make this campus welcoming to all, including meeting on a regular basis with students to keep this issue at the forefront of our thoughts. We are working with our community partners to begin a student NAACP chapter and strengthen our relationships through the sharing of expertise and resources. We are exploring community-driven thoughts and ideas around events, programming, curriculum, training opportunities, hiring, and staffing. We are going to take a hard look at our policies and our processes.

The last two days have brought forth the first moments of optimism that I have experienced since learning of this incident. It showed that our community is ready to come together and put in the hard work necessary to make real change. It is our obligation to do that, and with your help, we will shape a real and ongoing plan that includes input and action from our full community. Together, we can lead by example.

Thank you,
Gregory Woodward
President

November 1, 2017

Dear University of Hartford Community,

I am writing to provide further updates on the deeply disturbing situation involving our students. As of this morning, Brianna Brochu is no longer a student at the University of Hartford. She will not be returning to the institution.

There has been an outpouring of concern for the victim of these acts from across the University and the country. In my meeting with her yesterday, I reiterated my personal commitment to ensuring she has all available personal and academic resources the University can provide.  

As I said yesterday, the University took action immediately once these allegations were brought to our attention. University Public Safety was first notified and responded to this incident at 11:48 p.m. on October 17. The reprehensible conduct of the involved student was not known by the victim or the University until that time. By 1:12 a.m. the West Hartford Police Department was notified and processes for legal and University conduct began. A no-contact order was put into place and the case was turned over to local authorities by 2:16 a.m.

It is clear there is work to be done at our University to ensure that all students feel safe, respected, and valued. The conversations that began with student groups, faculty, and staff yesterday are going to continue and involve our full community. I am dedicated to that mission and will continue to share additional information about opportunities for our path forward in meaningful dialogue and action.

Greg Woodward
President

Oct. 31, 2017

Dear University of Hartford Community,

I am writing to you this evening to send a strong message regarding an incident that is deeply upsetting to me, our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. One of our students was the alleged victim of bullying and her story was shared across social media. Let me be clear: the accused student’s behavior was reprehensible and does not reflect the values of our institution.  Let me also be clear that I am confident the University has taken all steps to pursue this matter seriously, and will continue to do so.

Upon learning of the incident, Public Safety immediately ensured that the victim was relocated to a safe location, notified local authorities, and provided support for their investigation. The accused student was subsequently arrested by the West Hartford Police Department and her case will proceed through the legal process. The University will continue to precisely execute our defined process outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.

The University strictly and swiftly followed all procedural and legal processes related to this alleged event; claims to the contrary are based on misinformation. The incident has brought about accusations of racism, and I want you to know that I hear and share your anger and frustration. Acts of racism, bias, bullying, or other abusive behaviors will not be tolerated on this campus. I pledge to do everything in my power to work with our community to address related concerns together.

Throughout the day, I and members of my administration have been meeting with students, including representatives from the Student Government Association, multicultural organizations, and concerned students. I have also met with the affected student and we are in communication with her family. We will continue to offer support and assistance to her, as well as any other student that feels threatened, victimized, or uncomfortable on our campus. Let me repeat; racism and hatred will not be tolerated on this campus. Period. I encourage every one of you reading this email to report incidents on campus that are troubling and worthy of review.

I will proactively schedule and communicate additional community conversations in the coming days. I am willing and prepared to openly discuss concerns and will transparently share any additional information about University resources and processes that will make our community stronger. We pride ourselves on the diversity of our University and I am confident we provide a secure environment for our students in which to learn and thrive. Our community is not exempt from issues facing our society and world. We must strive every day to practice understanding, tolerance, inclusion, and grace. I know that you will join me in this critical mission.

Thank you,

Greg Woodward

President

Previous UHart Unity Events

  • FEM FEST:WSAM Alternative Radio in cooperation with the Campus Activities Team hold the University’s first ever FEM FEST, a night of live performances to raise awareness for women’s rights.
  • 34th Annual International Festival: The UHart community had the chance to enjoy cultural performances and dine on wonderful cuisine from different countries around the world.
  • Ellsworth Lecture by Hayley Foster BSBA ‘94 on Passion+Creativity=Success
  • Umbrella for peace: On International Women's Day, Women for Change, an on-campus organization concerned with social justice and activism ,painted umbrellas to protest sexual and domestic violence.
  • Welcome Wednesdays: Welcome Wednesdays is an initiative to start a new campus tradition of visiting common campus spaces and making new acquaintances. On select Wednesdays the Welcome Wednesday mat will be outside a host location, inviting you to come in, meet some people and stay as little or as long as you like. The events are free and open to all
  • On and Off the Island: Humanities Lecture Series: Ines Rivera Prosdocimi, Assistant Professor of English, presented a lecture entitled "On and Off the Island: The Modern-Day, Time-Traveling, Transnational Maroon" in which she explored the formation of perceived "truths" regarding the national identities of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
  • National girls and women in sports day: Hartford women's basketball celebrated  National Girls and Women in Sports Day with a game versus Stony Brook.
  • Zachary R. Wood on the Freedom of speech at the 2019 Rogow Distinguished visiting lecturer program: Zachary R. Wood, author of Uncensored: My Life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America, discussed why it is important to listen to people you disagree with
  • Some Jazz, Some Blues, Some Soul Food: Hartt alumnus Haneef Nelson spoke on the history of jazz.
  • Confronting holocaust denial: Avinoam Patt, Associate Professor of Judaic Studies and Humanities Center Faculty Fellow, discussed Confronting holocaust denial in the 21st century.
  • A conversation with Michael Eric Dyson: Michael Eric Dyson is  a Georgetown University sociology professor, New York Times contributing opinion writer, contributing editor of The New Republic, and ESPN’s The Undefeated, and author of 19 books. He has won many prestigious honors, including an American Book Award and two NAACP Image Awards
  • Spread Respect Hartford Hawks Men’s Basketball Game: The Spread Respect project supports and encourages participation by LGBTQ athletes and the community.
  • Keeping Dr. King’s Dream Alive featuring Angela Davis: Our annual “Keeping the Dream Alive” event to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther Kings featured Angela Y. Davis, who also received an honorary degree. Davis is an icon of black politics and social activism worldwide dating back to the 1960s when Dr. King led many civil rights battles.
  • An evening of diversity and culture concert and lecture: A concert of Christian, Jewish, and Islamic music will be performed by Ian Pomerantz of The Hartt School accompanied by Aaron Larget-Caplan. Hartford Seminary President Joel N. Lohr (pictured above) will speak on "The Great Mission of the Hartford Seminary: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Dialogue.”
  • BSU Fashion Show: The theme of this year's  BSU (Brothers and Sisters United) Fashion Show is “The World in One Night.” The annual Fashion Show is a fundraiser. and proceeds go to the Book Fund, a program that assists students in need of textbooks
  • Black History Month movie series: Throughout the month of February, University of Hartford will showed several free movies including Green Book, Marshall, Dear White People, and Selma.
  • Ending the division: teaching strategies for becoming instruments of change: University of Hartford professors from diverse backgrounds and disciplines discussed how to best address the polarization and divisiveness that appears to be so pervasive in our times.
  • A vigil to remember victims of Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting Students, faculty, staff, and community members gathered on the Harry Jack Gray lawn in front of Harrison Libraries on Monday, October 29 to remember the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on Oct. 27 that resulted in 11 people killed and six injured.