Published November 2, 2020
Dear university community,
Participating in local, state and national elections is a cornerstone of our nation’s democratic process. For both our domestic and international community of students, faculty and staff, the 2020 U.S. presidential election has consequences across a broad array of personal and policy issues.
When we cast our ballot, all of these issues are distilled into a single question with profound implications: Do we want to stay the course, or do we want to take another path? Whatever outcome Election Day brings, we can anticipate that the results will be deeply felt across our university community. Elation, disappointment, relief, unease, anger—political ideology notwithstanding, you may well be feeling a maelstrom of emotions.
But let me reassure you of this: Regardless of the result of this national election, UB will remain true to our strongly held values. You are, as always, a highly respected, appreciated and valued member of our UB family. We embrace our diverse backgrounds, cultures, lived experiences and political ideology. Not only that—we recognize and celebrate our differences as one of our scholarly community’s most treasured assets. By virtue of your unique contributions, we are collectively stronger.
UB is, and always will be, a bastion of hope—a welcoming community inclusive of people of all races, religions, heritages, cultures and political perspectives. In declaring our core values of inclusion and social justice, we extend our unwavering support to all who feel marginalized or disenfranchised. As university citizens, we are called to participate in informed, respectful exchanges and dialogue, even when we disagree. In so doing, we equip ourselves to more effectively tackle the big issues of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
So, how do we examine this particular moment in our country’s evolving story? As always, through the prism of our mission—specifically, our dedication to bringing the benefits of our research, scholarship, creative activities and educational excellence to the communities we serve. Our university’s core purpose is not only to create and transmit knowledge, but to prepare our students for enlightened, active and peaceful citizenry.
In that spirit, I hope you will participate in the upcoming events we are hosting to discern the impact of this year’s election on our university and our nation.
While we look together toward the future, know that each of you has a role to play in making the world a better place. With the values that have shaped our university for 175 years, let us harness our diversity of experience, expertise and perspective for the betterment of humanity.
Satish K. Tripathi