Below is a statement from Idalene “Idie” Kesner, dean of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all three charges in the murder of George Floyd:
Dear Kelley Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni,
Eleven months ago, we watched with outrage the appalling video footage of George Floyd’s death as Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. The ensuing months saw mass demonstrations in support of Black lives and redoubled institutional and individual commitments to dismantle systemic racism and to pursue antiracist policies and practices. Over the past several weeks in a Minneapolis courtroom, witnesses recounted anew the tragedy of George Floyd’s death as Derek Chauvin’s murder trial unfolded. Today, the jury convicted Chauvin on each of the three counts with which he was charged. A verdict in a murder trial is at most imperfect justice. It does not erase the pain that accompanied George Floyd’s death, and it does not return him to his loved ones. Today’s result signals some accountability in this instance for this particular officer. Yet there is more to be done to ensure that no one is a victim of the sort of brutality to which George Floyd was subjected and to which Black men and women, as well as indigenous people and other people of color, are disproportionately subjected.
Coming so closely on the heels of the deaths of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo at the hands of police officers; the abusive traffic stop of Caron Nazario; and the string of mass shootings across the country, including the Atlanta and Indianapolis murders that deeply impacted Asian/Asian American and Sikh communities respectively, the jury’s verdict lands in a moment when we are nonetheless reminded of the necessity that we recommit to fighting systematic racism, wherever it exists. As a community, the Kelley School stands firm in its support against systemic racism, bigotry, discrimination, marginalization, and all forms of oppression. We ask each member of our community to stand in solidarity, opposing discrimination of any type and recognizing that discrimination due to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, class, or ability is anathema to our values and principles.
This is a time during which many in our community are in need of additional support for their emotional or mental health. Please take advantage of the following resources:
- Indiana University Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available to assist students. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus via the CAPS website.
- A Care Referral is an easy way to request help for yourself or another student (https://indiana-advocate.symplicity.com/care_report/index.php).
- Undergraduate students can meet with the Kelley Undergraduate Program Assistant Director of Student Experience, Kelly Higgins, to discuss individual or group needs in the areas of mental health and wellness. The office can help students connect with resources when you are unsure of where to start or of relevant resources (https://gokelley.iu.edu/studentexperiencesignup). You can also contact the Office of Student Experience at email@example.com.
- Graduate students can reach out to Kelley’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion for Graduate Programs, Regina Funk for support and resources (firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-812-855-8010).
- Faculty and staff can seek support and assistance through the IU Employee Assistance Program or call 1-888-881-5462.
If you have experienced bias or witnessed bias, please report such incidents by sending an email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org), submitting a report online (https://studentaffairs.indiana.edu/dean-students/bias-incident/index.shtml), or calling the Dean of Students Office (812-855-8187).
As we approach the end of a school year that has confronted us with disruption and difficulty as the result of the pandemic, many have voiced a longing for a return to “normal.” Yet we cannot accept as normal the systemic racism, violence, and oppression that have permeated our society long before the pandemic. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy of brotherhood, the normalcy of true peace, the normalcy of justice.” If we look toward a return to “normal,” let us remain unwavering in our pursuit of Dr. King’s vision of normalcy.
In pursuit of peace and justice,
Idalene “Idie” Kesner
Dean, Kelley School of Business, and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management
Indiana University Kelley School of Business
Brava, Idie, brava!! Beautifully and sensitively said. Your example of honesty and anti-racism makes me proud to be an IU alum! Your friend, fellow doctoral student and admirer, Ed Ottensmeyer
As soon as I heard the trial verdict my first thought was “I wonder what the Dean of Kelley School of Business thinks about this. I hope she sends a lengthy opine -complete with virtue signals – that was pre-written and ready to send once the verdict was announced.”
As a Kelley graduate I can think on my own. I do not need your thoughts on these or any other social issues, especially ones that have nothing to do with a Kelley education. A majority of Kelley students and alumni are conservatives who are only interested in your thoughts regarding the Kelley School of Business, the direction it is headed, and how you plan to enhance the value of the Kelley degree. Please keep this in mind as you consider sending future opinion statements that we are not interested in reading.
I’m quite sure that the majority of Kelley alumni appreciated your statement exactly as much as I did.
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