Richmond Home

A Statement on UR's History

Feb. 7, 2019

Last night we became aware that a racist yearbook image had been shared on social media. The image that was shared from the yearbook is repulsive to us. Images of this sort, and the behavior and attitudes they represent, are appalling and antithetical to the values of the University today. No one should have to experience the pain caused by such vile images, or evidence of such behavior, either at the time the incident occurs or thereafter.

Such images reflect a past that must be reconciled and understood. We do not intend to forget or erase those moments. Rather, we must examine and understand our history so that we may become the more inclusive community we aspire to be.

We know that we have work to do in our community in this respect, and I am grateful to the many faculty, staff, students, and alumni who are dedicated to fulfilling this responsibility. Our ongoing work includes teaching, scholarship, research, and oral histories that confront historical issues of racism and discrimination directly and honestly. This need is also the reason that fostering a thriving and inclusive community is central in the strategic plan, why the Commission on University History and Identity is exploring how our history has been recorded and will help us communicate that history more inclusively, and why the President’s Advisory Committee on Making Excellence Inclusive will soon issue their report on what we can do to make the University an exemplary intercultural community.

We have no intention of varnishing our history. We are committed to understanding the dark and troubling moments of our past and learning from them. As an institution of higher education, our students — past, present, and future — deserve no less.


Ronald A. Crutcher