December 10, 2018

Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,

At Hobart and William Smith, we have a long history of supporting rigorous and thoughtful debate, and of creating opportunities for the exchange of ideas. It is our hope that in sparking curiosity and inquiry, we are teaching students to be better listeners and thinkers, giving them the capacity to remain in dialogue even through disagreement.

Speakers and artists often come to campus who hold different views from our own, and who challenge our assumptions. Most often, these events are opportunities for learning. Sometimes, however, those invited into our community take advantage of our commitment to this process and instead seek to use our academic integrity against us. It is my opinion that it is an egregious abuse of power for a speaker to post private emails to social media or to encourage behavior that puts others at risk.

As we continue to investigate this situation, you have my pledge that we will do all we can to ensure that the students affected are offered every form of support at the Colleges’ disposal. We have no tolerance for those who use their position to place others in jeopardy, or for those who incite injustice or prejudice. To those among us who feel marginalized, know that the Colleges and I stand with you.

Patrick A. McGuire L.H.D. ’12
Interim President