Dear Rackham students,
Recent events on campus have raised important questions for our community about the role of personal and political beliefs in decisions by instructors on whether to offer recommendation letters for students. I am writing to acknowledge the potential ramifications of these developments for graduate students and update you on steps being taken.
The provost has created a panel of faculty members to examine the intersection of political thought and instructors’ responsibilities to students. Part of the panel’s charge is to “recommend how to clarify current policy or create new policy that clearly articulates institutional principles and expectations at the intersection of faculty members’ responsibilities to students and their personal views.”
Because of the importance of these questions to you, hearing from you is crucial. The Rackham Graduate School is committed to creating a mechanism for you to express your thoughts and ideas about these questions. Later this year, I will be convening an event to promote intellectual exchange about them. I will update you when more details are available.
To ensure that you are all aware of communications from President Mark Schlissel and Provost Martin Philbert on the matter, I want to alert you to an October 9 letter to the university community, and a joint Q&A that was posted on October 31.
As you engage in your degree programs, you are undergoing critical training that prepares you to assume roles in the broad community of scholars, researchers, and professionals. I want to ensure we do all we can to help you achieve your goals.