The University Record, April 18, 1994

Chief administrators ‘outraged’ by racist electronic message

We are outraged over the recent incident that involved the use of a stolen University of Michigan student account name and password to send a racist electronic message through the Internet computer network to computer systems worldwide.

We personally and collectively denounce such incidents within our institution, and as executive officers of the University, we would like to clearly communicate to the University community that this behavior will not be tolerated.

Freedom of expression is one of the core values at the University of Michigan, yet we deplore expressions that create a hostile environment and demean individuals, their race, gender, ethnicity or religion. What we find equally appalling is that this incident strikes at the heart of another of our core values, namely our efforts to build a more diverse campus. Such behavior diminishes each and every member of the University community, and although some have responded rapidly to condemn it, many more must speak out. There is so much more we can do. We cannot casually dismiss this incident. Many faculty, staff and students have been offended, hurt and frightened by the message and by the action itself.

A lack of awareness and silence will allow such abhorrent acts to be repeated time and time again. Only through sharing the hurt experienced by those targeted by such acts and the distress experienced by others can we hope to create an environment where such acts simply do not occur. We ask you to join us in encouraging and participating in open discussion of such incidents, and in condemning this type of activity. It has no place on this campus. We must continue to work together as a community to make certain it does not happen again. Various units will be sponsoring community forums where we can share our concerns, and we encourage everyone to participate along with us in this dialogue.

James J. Duderstadt, President

Lawrence D. Kugler, Interim Chancellor, U-M-Flint

James C. Renick, Chancellor, U-M-Dearborn

Gilbert R. Whitaker Jr., Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Farris W. Womack, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Richard L. Kennedy, Vice President for Government Relations and Secretary of the University

Jon Cosovich, Vice President for Development

Homer A. Neal, Vice President for Research

Maureen A. Hartford, Vice President for Student Affairs

Walter L. Harrison, Vice President for University Relations

George D. Zuidema, Vice Provost for Medical Affairs