End of Week Reflection from Dean Slaughter


April 16, 2021

Dear Students and Colleagues,

The past week brought more tragic and troubling events—in Minnesota, Virginia, and Illinois—involving police, Black and Latinx Americans, and other people of color.  I have heard from a number of Tuck community members, especially those of the Black and Pan African communities, sharing their feelings of pain, frustration, and exhaustion.  And, as I wrote about a few weeks ago, there are similar feelings here at Tuck about the recent wave of racist and xenophobic rhetoric and acts toward Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.

One of the key aptitudes of wise leaders is empathy: understanding the experiences, feelings, and ideas of others that are different from your lived experience.  In the days and weeks ahead, let’s continue to show empathy toward one another as each of us works through our own sentiments about racism and other ongoing injustices.  Now is the time to build our capabilities for open conversation, learning, and change.  As the spring term rolls along, Tuck will continue to offer opportunities here.  On May 5, we will be hosting a conversation with Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want to Talk About Race.  On May 20, we will be convening bystander intervention training, aimed at tools and techniques to stop racist and xenophobic harassment.  Details on these and other events will be forthcoming.

Our Tuck community is one of remarkable diversity: of races and ethnicities, of gender identities and sexual orientations, of nationalities, of socioeconomic class, of political views, of creed.  We draw on the many strengths of this diversity to broaden our learning, to sharpen our decision making, and to enrich our spirits.  We will continue to strive for a more equitable and inclusive society—through our research, teaching, and application of ideas that can transform our world.

As an example of transformative impact, I am very excited to share the news that yesterday Professor Ella Bell was selected to receive The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management’s 2021 Earl Hill Jr. Faculty Achievement and Diversity Leadership Award.  Established in 2019, this annual award honors “outstanding academic and professional leadership on campus and to the community beyond the boundaries of the university.”  It recognizes “the recipient’s courageous leadership within The Consortium community and commitment in advancing the goal of equal opportunity and access to higher education for underrepresented minorities in America.”

I also want to thank Lia Parker-Belfer, Ed Beshers, and Rod Milligan, for helping orchestrate last week’s inaugural DEI Summit among Tuck and five other business schools.  This event was centered around the vital question, “As an MBA student, how can I help advance diversity, equity, and inclusion—in my life and at my future organization.”

Finally, let me especially thank Dean Dia Draper.  Dia has hit the ground running since assuming her new deanery role full-time at the start of 2021.  In particular, she has convened a DEI Working Group to help launch a comprehensive review of Tuck’s culture, climate, and engagement with DEI.  This thoughtful review will identify the greatest opportunities for us to create a fully informed DEI strategic plan, which will outline DEI objectives, desired outcomes, and metrics for action—all in support of Tuck’s overall mission and strategy.  This Group is assessing external benchmarks; it has conducted scores of interviews, many focus groups, and a survey; and it continues to work with the right blend of care and pace.  Thank you, too, Group members Elle Higgins, Matt Lotterhand, Taryn Rich, and Michele Wheeler.

Please take good care of yourself this weekend.


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