UofR Jepson School Dean Takes Responsibility for Cobb’s Award
Last month, University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies recognized Victoria Cobb of the Family Foundation as part of their 10th Year Reunion. Students at the campus expressed outrage during a series of protests, forums, and letters in the student newspaper, The Collegian.
In yesterday’s Collegian, Jespson School Dean Sandra Peart, wrote an open letter to the campus taking ownership of the decision to recognize Cobb. From the letter:
Dear Members of the University Community,
I have had the opportunity to talk with many of you individually and in groups about this year’s 10th Year Reunion Recognition of the Jepson School.
In meetings with me, in the pages of The Collegian, and in public fora, a number of you have expressed concern that the positions of the organization led by one of the recipients of that recognition are not consistent with the spirit of inclusivity that prevails at Richmond and that animates much of The Richmond Promise.
The decision about the recipients of this year’s recognition was ultimately my own, when, as Dean, I accepted the recommendation of the selection committee. As I have indicated in individual meetings, I understand and personally regret very much the pain and disappointment this decision caused many members of our community. That result was never intended. I also regret any question it has generated about the University’s commitment to inclusivity. President Ayers and the Board of Trustees have been decisive in that commitment.
Read the full text of the letter here. Peart further mentions the University’s commitment to providing members of the campus a welcoming environment.
In an e-mail forwarded to GayRVA.com, school officials originally planned to restrict media access from news outlets including The Collegian at a forum held in response to student reaction. After discussing the issue with Peart and other faculty members, they agreed to allow the newspaper to attend. The original e-mail:
Please join me on Monday April 12th at 4:30 (room 118) for a Jepson/UR community conversation about what it means to be an inclusive and diverse community.
First, please note and inform others that the conversation is meant to model Jepson’s commitment to civil discourse. Second, so that we may have a frank and open conversation, the event is a community event. As such, it is not open to the press including the Collegian.
Please encourage other students to attend.
I look forward to the conversation.
Sandra J. Peart
Dean, Jepson School of Leadership Studies
University of Richmond, VA 23173
The Family Foundation is known for their anti-LGBT lobbying efforts. Photo from the Family Foundation.
All anybody wants is a nice safe place to pee, no matter what gender they identify with.April 25, 2016
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