President's Blog

Striving to build a more tolerant, pluralistic society

Dozens of colleagues at Mason have expressed their condemnation of remarks made by an adjunct instructor on television in recent days and have stated that this person “does not speak for George Mason University.” I agree, he doesn’t.

Mason is an inclusive community that values diversity of people and ideas. We honor and protect the freedom of all members of our community to express their views. But we also hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards as researchers, teachers, students, and professionals.

When our faculty speaks to the media, our expectation is that they will elevate the conversation and educate the public. This instructor did neither.

At a time of rising ideological polarization and intolerance, and while we continue to witness heartbreaking, horrific acts of hate violence—the unspeakable anti-semitic attack last week in Pittsburgh being the most recent example—it is essential that our university and all of its members serve as examples of civil, informed, respectful dialogue. In doing so, we act as beacons of hope for a better, more tolerant and pluralistic society.