Message from Professor Jackie Dunne, Vice-Chancellor, Newman University

10/06/2020 by Sinead Staunton

“In recent days I have been reflecting on what has been happening in the world. We have been profoundly shocked by the death of George Floyd and the subsequent events both in the United States and the UK.  It is unacceptable and the understandable anger and resulting protest should make us all think seriously about racism.

“Newman University will not tolerate any form of discrimination and racism and we must all stand up against and call out unacceptable behaviours. In the three months I have been Vice Chancellor here I have been part of a community that is committed to our values of tolerance and inclusivity. We are proud of the diversity of our community but we must accept the central truth of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement and acknowledge the need to do more to eradicate racism and discrimination.

“We have already committed, through our Access and Participation Plan, to addressing the BAME awarding gap, with a particular focus on black students, and are determined to keep working on this. In addition we have recently introduced a BAME Mentoring scheme; we intend to pursue this agenda and are committed to developing an institutional action plan to address race equality.

“We must also continue to educate ourselves and we want to listen to the voices of our staff and students in order to better understand how we can do more to identify inequalities and work to remove them. We acknowledge that discrimination exists at individual, institutional and societal levels and must be removed.

“Through this message we are inviting all students and staff to be involved in a  ‘Big Conversation’ about  ‘Challenging Racism wherever it exists’,  hosted by myself and the Newman Student’s Union President, Chris Black.

“Each and every one of us has the opportunity to contribute to change and we must stand up against injustice wherever we find it.”

Professor Jackie Dunne, Vice-Chancellor of Newman University