Upholding Our Values in Response to Coronavirus
February 7, 2020
Dear Members of the Rutgers–New Brunswick Community,
Yesterday, President Barchi sent an email to all university faculty and staff as a reminder that discrimination because of ethnicity is not only unlawful, it is a violation of university policy and goes against our values as an inclusive community. I would like to reinforce this sentiment. Furthermore, as we face a rise in uncertainties about coronavirus, it is important to avoid assumptions about an individual’s health based on identity or cultural background.
The recent spread of coronavirus cases continues to dominate our news cycle, naturally raising many concerns. As a campus community, we are closely monitoring developments and information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and national health departments on a daily basis. While there are no suspected or confirmed cases of this new virus within our campus, we continue to plan for any necessary actions should cases occur.
I want to emphasize that respect, empathy and understanding are cornerstones of our values. We must stand united against insensitive or disrespectful behavior, which has no place at Rutgers and will not be tolerated.
Please remember that support services are always available to those who feel they have been a target of bias or xenophobic behavior. Students can submit a bias report through the Division of Student Affairs. Similarly, Rutgers faculty and staff can report incidents of discrimination or harassment (PDF) to the Office of Employment Equity in accordance with the university’s policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment (60.1.12 [PDF]). Support services are also available to students in need through CAPS.
Finally, I ask all faculty, staff, and students to stay informed on the latest developments regarding coronavirus, including how to prevent spread of the disease, what to do if you’re experiencing symptoms, and resources available to you by continuing to monitor your email accounts for ongoing communications from the university and by referring to the university’s coronavirus webpage.
Christopher J. Molloy, Ph.D.
Chancellor, Rutgers University–New Brunswick