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Office of the President - The University of Texas at Arlington

 

Dear Members of the UTA Community:

The University of Texas at Arlington is on a tremendous trajectory with impressive increases in growth and in reputation. From our designation as a Carnegie R-1 institution last year and our ranking as having the 2nd lowest average student debt among national universities to our record enrollment this Spring, there is no doubt that we are moving at a rapid pace, committed to our mission, proud of our diversity, dedicated to innovation, and focused on being the model 21st Century Urban Research University.

Principles of Community

Underlying our success is a set of core values - cherished principles that serve as the heart and soul of our engagement with each other and the larger community we serve. These principles bring us together and ground us in our mission of research, teaching, and public service. Our Principles of Community, developed by our faculty, staff, and students, characterize the environment in which we work, communicate, and interact with each other.

Today, perhaps more than ever, we need to build trust by finding ways to communicate with each other respectfully, listening to understand and appreciate each other’s viewpoints. We need to continue to build a supportive environment that values diversity and celebrates our differences. We will undoubtedly disagree at times and hold opposing views on a number of topics. We must remember that the principles of civil discourse and mutual respect are the bedrock on which we have built, and will continue to build, this great university.

Our students are at the center of this community, and our faculty and staff are dedicated to their well-being and success in and outside the classroom. At this great institution we have students with different needs, and I’m extremely proud of how we have proactively addressed the many issues they face through programs and services in Student Affairs, Academic Units, and various offices on campus. The Relationship Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Program (RVSP) initiated 10 years ago is just one example of our proactive stance, setting standards others now emulate across the nation.

While many are familiar with these programs, some are not aware of the breadth and depth of resources available. This was brought to my attention at a recent President's Round Table meeting where our students emphasized the need for better communication about, and the desire to have ease of access to, these resources. In response, we are launching a new Community that Cares microsite on Monday that provides an easy to access, one-stop resource center that I hope will enhance knowledge, and use, of these and other resources that we are continuously adding.

In addition, I have asked Ms. Heather Snow, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, and Dr. Scott Ryan, Dean of the School of Social Work, to co-chair a New Task Force on Ensuring A Community that Cares, focused on the wellness and well-being of our students. This task-force comprised of faculty, staff, and students will report to me, and will assess current programs, recommend changes and new programs, and be charged with continuously evaluating and improving the services we provide to our students, including those related to mental health, sexual harassment and abuse, substance dependency, and bullying.

Our community already does a great deal, but we must do more and, as Mavericks, we must lead the way – always ahead, setting standards for others to follow, ensuring that our University community upholds the highest levels of mutual respect and behavior, and ensuring that we are A Community that Cares.

Regards,

Vistasp M. Karbhari

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Office of the President300 Davis Hall • Box 19125 • Arlington, Texas 76019-0125

vkarbhari@uta.edu • 817-272-2101 (voice) • 817-272-5656 (fax)