Augsburg University Statement About Classroom Incident

(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 underwayincluding 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.”

 

30th Annual Forum at Augsburg Spurs Media Coverage

The Star Tribune previewed the 30th annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum, interviewing guest speaker and Nobel laureate Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Read the editorial: Abolish nuclear weapons? Idealistic. Worthy.

The September 14-15 forum at Augsburg University featured Nobel Peace Prize laureates who have navigated the paradoxes between conflict and reconciliation, between justice and forgiveness, between hope and fear. The event drew other media coverage as well:

Star Tribune — Project brings together Minneapolis police, black men in quest for understanding.

Star Tribune Business Columnist Neal St. Anthony — Business warming to greener economy that combats climate change

MPR Presents — Peter Gleick on ‘The World’s Freshwater: From Conflict to Peace’

Augsburg Mourns Campus Pastor Emeritus Dave Wold

Pastor Dave in a suitPastor Dave speaking at commencementAugsburg Campus Pastor Emeritus Dave Wold passed away on Thursday, April 12. Following is the message sent this morning, Friday, April 13, from Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow.

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that I share the news that Pastor Dave Wold passed away last night. Pastor Dave served Augsburg for three decades — 1983 until he retired at the end of the 2012-13 academic year — and was named Campus Pastor Emeritus by the Augsburg Board of Regents in recognition for his many contributions to our campus life and faith community.

One of Pastor Dave’s gifts was that he knew everyone’s name. He knew each of us. It’s hard to imagine how he was able to personally connect with so many people, but he did, and the breadth of his pastoral care strengthened and supported generations of Auggies. He touched thousands of lives and is beloved by alumni and Augsburg community members around the world.

Pastor Dave was also quick witted and loved to craft words and music. I’m sure everyone who knew him can recall how he loved to share jokes as a way of engaging with people. He lent those talents for words and music to the leadership of our Advent Vespers services over the years. He also wrote hundreds of light-hearted parodies, using familiar tunes as a unique means of sharing messages about faith.

Of course, we all know Pastor Dave’s passion for athletics and for working with young people. He was director of youth ministries for the American Lutheran Church (prior to the formation of the ELCA), founded the Holy Hoops congregational basketball league, and supervised many intern pastors. And, while the number of athletic games and matches he announced may not be known, our memory of his distinct announcer voice will not fade.

Our prayers and sympathies go out to Cathy Wold, Dave’s wife, and his family. Pastor Dave was a fiercely committed husband, father, and grandfather. We will share information about memorial services once those plans are confirmed. This morning, those on campus are invited to gather in Hoversten Chapel following our daily chapel service (10:55 a.m.), for a brief time of remembrance, prayer, and song.

I was honored to work with Pastor Dave for seven years, to sing with him before many an athletic contest, and to have him as my pastor on campus.  I join Dave’s many friends and colleagues in mourning his death and the loss of a good and faithful servant.

Faithfully yours,

Paul

 

City water line leak disrupts water service January 13, 2018, to Christensen Center

Update: Water service was restored to Christensen Center before 6 p.m. Saturday, January 13.

Earlier post:

A leak in the city water line that feeds Christensen Center was discovered around 10 p.m. Friday, January 12. Augsburg Facilities crew worked with the City of Minneapolis Water Department to shut the water off until the pipe can be repaired. As a result, there is no water service in Christensen. As of Saturday morning, January 13, we are still awaiting information about the timeline for repair, but there may not be water in Christensen for the weekend.

As a result, the following adjustments have been made to affected operations on January 13:

  • A’viands has made some menu and beverage modifications and adjusted its sanitation operations to ensure that students will continue to have quality foodservice in the Commons.
  • Nabo will be closed Saturday, January 13, so that A’viands can use that location for food preparation and dishwashing for the main dining facilities in Christensen Center.

 

Congratulations to Auggies named to the Spring Semester Dean’s List

Augsburg College SealMore than 900 Augsburg College undergraduate students were named to the 2017 Spring Semester Dean’s List. The Augsburg College Dean’s List recognizes those full-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and those part-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.75 or higher in a given term.

View the 2017 Spring Semester Dean’s List.

Students who wish to notify their hometown newspapers of their achievement can do so at their discretion using a news announcement template.

Statement: President Pribbenow, Provost Kaivola on Executive Orders by President Donald J. Trump

(MINNEAPOLIS) — On Monday, January 30, Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow and Provost Karen Kaivola issued a statement to College students, faculty, and staff about recent executive orders issued by President Donald J. Trump related to immigration and to undocumented/DACA students. Below is the statement the President and Provost issued.

 

Dear Augsburg Community,

We are deeply troubled by the recent Presidential executive orders on immigration: they run counter to the values of this institution and of our nation. We do not accept the intolerance which the new immigration policies promote. Augsburg’s history is rich with the contribution of individuals who came to America; indeed, founded by Norwegian immigrants, Augsburg has an immigrant sensibility and will stand firm in the face of threats to our community and our immigrant neighbors.

We write today to affirm our commitment to provide a safe learning and working environment with equitable access to education for all members of our campus community. We will not back down on that commitment. We will use all the resources at our disposal to ensure that you complete your degrees, can come to and from work safely, and can thrive as valued members of our community.  Your well-being is our priority.

Augsburg is a community that cares deeply about our students, staff and faculty.  Many members of our campus community are impacted by these actions. We are focused intently on the educational and work experience of our students, staff, and faculty, their lives in the world and their promise. We have a long-standing commitment to hospitality and justice and we will resist changes that run against our values. We will not stand by and allow our values to be trodden upon. It’s a personal commitment we make and it is one shared by all of us at Augsburg. We live it out every day. We don’t step backward, we step forward, and we are proud of this community because of that.

These values are central to how we will respond in support of students who are affected by changes in undocumented and immigration status. We will double down on our commitments to hospitality and justice, to supporting our students’ success and to keeping them safe. We will advocate at the state and federal level for policies that support all of our students.

Continue reading “Statement: President Pribbenow, Provost Kaivola on Executive Orders by President Donald J. Trump”

Teachers learn coding through Augsburg College program, KARE 11 reports

kare 11 - logoKARE 11 news recently aired a segment covering “Makers: Small to Big,” a series of workshops sponsored by the Augsburg College physics department. The workshops are open to the public but are designed to help educators incorporate hands-on physics and computer programming projects into their classroom activities.

The segment featured a coding workshop led by Nora Helf, a Master of Arts in Education student, who saw teachers using software to coordinate blinking LED lights. Helf was assisted by 10-year-old programmer Jack Tavakley who demonstrated some of the projects he has made.

Watch and read Teachers learn new technology to inspire students on the KARE 11 website.

Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder recaps Augsburg College’s MLK Convocation

Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder - logoThe Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder recently published an article and photo gallery covering Augsburg College’s 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation, which was held January 18 and featured a speech by legendary rapper and author Chuck D.

The event began with performances by a number of local artists, much to the delight of the keynote speaker. The article states that, “His excitement was noticeable as he jumped to his feet and snapped photos of the acts smiling from ear to ear.”

The article also included interviews with Augsburg students Erickson Saye ’16, Robert Harper ’16, and Reis Francisco Romero ’16. Romero was instrumental in organizing the event; he is the president of Augsburg College’s chapter of Save the Kids, a student group that co-sponsored this year’s convocation.

“It’s going to take me a while to conceptualize everything. I’m glad we did it, I’m glad it’s over, but now the real work starts,” Romero said of the event. “We have to work together to end this miserable condition on this earth.”

Read and view: PHOTOS | Rapper Chuck D refocused MLK Day from past to present on the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder site.