Message from Dean Dillon on Racial Strife

June 2, 2020

Dear students, faculty, and staff in the College of Liberal Arts,

As Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, I want to reiterate the views expressed yesterday by President Dean and Provost Jones prompted by the killing of George Floyd and the many other incidences of the dehumanization of Black people. I also want to use this moment to renew our College’s commitment to working to ensure that African-American students, faculty, and staff are fully assured of equality and of a safe and inclusive learning, working, and living environment at UNH. I will work with you to expand the teaching of race across our curriculum, to further amplify our faculty’s research findings on the many dimensions and wide-ranging impacts of racial inequality, and to create new ways of being on campus, in the classroom and beyond, that nurture a common good built on recognizing the humanity of all of us in and amid our rich diversity.

As a first and immediate step, I will soon host a virtual open forum that will provide all of us with an opportunity to learn how we can do better to recognize, understand, and ameliorate everyday racism and its lived experience. I will send details about this forum in the coming days. 


Michele Dillon

Michele Dillon, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Liberal Arts
Class of 1944 Professor of Sociology
University of New Hampshire

June 29, 2020

Update: The College forum on racism was held June 23, 2020. The agenda included a discussion of structural/institutional racism with a presentation from Kabria Baumgartner, assistant professor of English and American studies, followed by Q&A. Discussion began on the idea of a mandatory diversity requirement for all COLA students and the idea of offering a Cognate in Diversity.

This is the third in a series of open fora on diversity in the College of Liberal Arts. Previous fora were held on April 1, 2019: What Can COLA Do to Make UNH More Inclusive? and a "Difficult Conversations" meeting on the topic of diversity on September 25, 2019.