Update: (August 2020) The Honors College at Auburn University’s statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion is now completed and can be view on our website. As always the Honors College is open to all communication about our statement. We can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Fall 2018, the Honors College released its first mission statement to the Auburn University community. That statement, which now hangs prominently in Cater Hall, affirms our unit’s collective commitment to serve with compassion, to value the diversity of human experience, to pursue truth with courage and conviction, and to participate in the creation of a more just world. This statement of shared values is a call to action and a touchstone for our staff, faculty, and students as we pursue excellence in all forms.
While the Honors College has always valued diversity and inclusion and has worked diligently to support the needs of our faculty, staff, and students from underrepresented groups, we acknowledge the lamentable decision this unit made in February 2018 to invite a white supremacist to address Honors students following a film screening. There is no way to undo the past, but the Honors College underwent significant organizational restructuring beginning in summer 2018 that has included deep work to ensure that our actions align with our values in all circumstances. Our new mission statement—and a student-crafted diversity statement that is nearing public release—reflects this commitment to uphold the highest values embraced by the Auburn University community.
Actions always speak louder than words, however.
The Auburn University Honors College stands alongside all members of our community who denounce the ongoing acts of violence, discrimination, and exclusion against our fellow citizens. These actions have no place in our society. While we pursue our own unit-based plans to increase diversity and inclusion within the Honors College, we also offer ourselves as continued allies to members of our community seeking real change.
The final paragraph of our forthcoming diversity statement attests: “Awareness is the herald of change. We must first educate ourselves and seek to understand the challenges faced by those around us if we are to build a tomorrow in which we stand united in our differences. The purposeful promotion of diversity, inclusion, and equality is the foundation of our collective commitment to improve the lives of the people of Alabama, the nation, and the world.”
The Honors College stands ready to serve.