(Updated 2 p.m. December 4. This post will be updated as new information is available.)
On October 31, Augsburg leadership received bias claim reports related to a classroom incident and immediately set in motion the university’s process for investigating such situations.
As part of that review, individuals who submitted non-anonymous reports were invited to have further conversations. To date, meetings with more than 30 individuals have taken place. That process is still underway. Augsburg’s policies and due process require engagement and input from parties directly involved, and we are committed to following these established review practices. No final decisions relative to the specific classroom incident will be taken until the review is complete.
Throughout this process, Augsburg is committed to supporting students’ academic success. Augsburg leadership recognizes that these recent issues have raised important questions about inclusiveness at Augsburg more generally. These questions will not be ignored.
A variety of institution-wide efforts are underway—including student-led initiatives, faculty-led discussions, and more. Plans are in development for dedicating time on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January for workshops and intercultural competence development. Augsburg’s Chief Academic Officer has also charged a team of faculty, students, and Multicultural Student Services staff to review specific program areas relative to Augsburg’s equity commitment. That commitment, approved by the Augsburg Board of Regents in April 2018, states that “Augsburg must fully embrace the challenge of being the institution its students need today, creating culturally relevant learning spaces and opportunities that build students’ agency to lead change at Augsburg and in their communities.”
“We know that the work of fostering an inclusive learning environment is ongoing, and we are fully committed to it,” said Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow. “We are grateful to the students, faculty, and staff who have spoken courageously to raise campus awareness, who have engaged in actively listening to the issues being expressed, and who have called for changes that advance our equity work. Augsburg will address this important topic like it has many other critical issues in our 150-year history: We will acknowledge and engage the topic, not shrink from it, and work together to make the university better.”