MESSAGE FROM DEAN PARR
Dear CAPPA community,
Once again I write to you to express my dismay at the recent turn of events. I am deeply upset by the recent decision by the US government to no longer exempt non-immigrant international students from taking online classes due the Covid-19 public health crisis. This decision not only undermines the education of our international students, it strikes at the very heart of our community. The decision is unfair and injurious.
Our international students bring with them fresh insights and experiences, sharing with us different cultural practices and viewpoints, all of which make us stronger, richer, and more compassionate as a college community.
Interim President Lim of the University of Texas at Arlington is committed to ensuring the education of our international students is not disrupted moving forward.
I close with one simple statement: CAPPA stands in solidarity with all our international students.
College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs
UNESCO Chair of Water and Human Settlements
Fellow, Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity
University of Texas, Arlington
Dear CAPPA community,
It has been another difficult turn of events in America this past week. I am shocked, saddened, and deeply disturbed by the recent wave of violence against members of both the Black and Asian communities. Admittedly, this is part of a long history of racism, but none of it is inevitable. No amount of rationalizing what has occurred and continues to occur can make amends for the persistent fact that some lives are unsafe simply because of the color of their skin. This is not a time to be indifferent or complacent. We are all of us faced with a choice to remain silent or speak up. Indeed, anything short of that would be negligent. In response, I am prompted to speak up.
In my institutional role as the Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs I sit in a driver’s seat; well, in this college that is. It’s a privileged seat, one that comes with some pretty hefty responsibilities, the first of which is to rise to the urgency of a given moment. This is one such moment.
In that vein, I am prompted to publicly and steadfastly state for the record that I condemn hatred of any kind. I want to reassure all members of our college community that I am committed to providing a safe space for people of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and religious beliefs. I unswervingly value an inclusive and welcoming learning and work environment for all of you.
It is important we collectively uphold and advance these primary values of tolerance and mutual respect so that everyone in CAPPA knows they are safe and welcome. I am proud we now have for the first time a College Diversity Committee whose role it is to advise and work with me on such matters ( https://www.uta.edu/cappa/about/diversity-and-inclusion.php)
Everyone in our college community is important to advancing our common welfare and happiness, but this only comes into effect when we act upon it and we trust each other to do so.
Trust is never a solitary position; by definition, it is a collective and cooperative action. In order to strengthen and deepen the spectrum of trust throughout the college then, means each and every one of us needs to participate in community building. If someone is feeling marginalized, excluded or unsafe, it is up to us to extend a hand and welcome them in. If someone is filled with despair, we can all be there to lift them up. In many respects, I would maintain that in an absence of trust we are bereft of our humanity.
How do we engage our humanity in these troubled times? We extend a hand, we speak out, and we reach out in support of our friends, colleagues, and students of color. We openly, confidently, and unequivocally state: We at CAPPA stand with you and alongside you.