Letter from Provost and Chief Diversity Officer regarding Spencer event
Dear Auburn Family,
Over the past week, Auburn University has faced attempts by uninvited, unaffiliated, off-campus groups and individuals to provoke conflict that is divisive and disruptive to our campus environment. Whether it's offensive rhetoric, offensive flyers around campus, or inappropriate remarks on social media, we will not allow the efforts of individuals or groups to undermine Auburn's core values of inclusion and diversity and challenge the ideals personified by the Auburn Creed.
Auburn University supports the rights and privileges afforded by the First Amendment. However, when the tenets of free speech are overshadowed by threats to the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, we have a responsibility to protect our campus and the men and women who unite our academic community. The decision to cancel the Richard Spencer event last week was informed by leadership from all of the university's shared governance groups and the Auburn Police Division, all of whom articulated legitimate concerns for the safety and security of our campus.
This afternoon, a federal judge ruled that Auburn must allow Spencer to speak in the Foy Auditorium tonight. It is now more important than ever that we respond in a way that is peaceful, respectful, and maintains civil discourse. We are aware that various campus groups have planned events for this evening. Please know that additional security measures are being taken by the Auburn Police Division to uphold the safety of our community.
The Provost's Office will support requests from faculty and students to miss classes this evening.
Timothy R. Boosinger,
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Taffye Benson Clayton
Associate Provost and Vice President for Inclusion and Diversity
Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.