The members of the Board of Regents at The Texas A&M University System cannot remain silent or inactive after recent social media posts and actions by faculty members who should be held to the highest standard of our core values.
First and foremost, the board respects and celebrates the constitutional right to free speech. We also believe that free speech can – and should – incorporate decency, respect and a good amount of listening.
We have not seen enough civil discourse around campus lately. To that end, the board strongly condemns the recent vulgar, disrespectful and divisive language of a few members of the faculty at the flagship university in Bryan-College Station. We expect – and know – our faculty to be among the best in the nation and to exercise the academic freedom that comes with being a member of this great university. That freedom, however, does not include speech that is full of hate and serves to destroy our campus community. Aggies should not tolerate such divisive behavior, and we should hold each other accountable to preserve the spirit that generations of Aggies have forged for us.
Our issue is not with debate. In fact, we welcome it. Our issue also is not with academic freedom. It is of paramount importance to the board. Further, we also do not oppose peaceful protests. We want everyone to be heard.
As Aggies, we lead by example. The board believes that we can show other universities how to engage civilly, appropriately and with mutual respect.
All we ask – actually insist upon – is a dialogue that is productive, thoughtful and consistent with our core values of Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect and Selfless Service.
The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents