An Open Letter to the Rasmussen University Community
In Grief and Outrage, Our Commitment to Supporting Lasting Change
I join Rasmussen University students, faculty, staff and alumni – and Americans across the nation – in grief and outrage at the racism and injustice that has for far too long been targeted at members of the black community. This issue was brought into even starker focus by the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd at the hands of the police right in Rasmussen’s hometown of Minneapolis. It also reminds us that many of our black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) students, faculty, staff and alumni and their families suffer from the effects of systemic racism every single day.
While speaking out is important, our actions are even more so. As an institution of higher education, the most important role we can play is to stay focused on our mission, which says in part:
Rasmussen University is an institution of higher learning dedicated to global enrichment and meeting the evolving needs of our diverse communities.
We empower our students, faculty and staff to exceed the expectations of society through academic excellence, community enrichment and service to the public good.
We also know that it is critical to provide members of the Rasmussen community support during this difficult time. With that in mind, Dr. MaNesha Stiff, Rasmussen’s Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will be hosting listening sessions with the University's leadership team, students, faculty and staff over the coming days to provide a forum for open dialogue, listening and support with a view to fostering a stronger connection and a greater understanding of one another.
At the same time, we must provide support specifically focused on addressing the issue of racial injustice in the communities across the nation in which our students and teams live and work. Rasmussen University has a long history of community service, including supporting many organizations that further the goal of social justice. Moving forward, we will continue these efforts and seek opportunities to have an even greater and more direct impact. We will keep you informed of specific plans over the coming weeks and months.
As a 120-year-old institution, we have seen injustice in our communities too often and fully advocate that it must finally end. We are more committed than ever to fulfilling our mission in our words and our actions, and ask you to join us in working to promote peace and justice in our collective communities.
Dr. Ann Leja