School of Applied Sciences

The University of Mississippi

A message from Dean Peter W. Grandjean in response to our national crisis

Posted on June 3rd, 2020 by staff

Dear Applied Sciences Family,

Words cannot express my anger, hurt, and frustration resulting from the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. We’ve seen this before in the needless deaths of Walter Scott and Freddie Gray and so many others before them. Horror, shock, disbelief and fear only begin to describe our collective feelings as we learn about the blatant racism and social injustice that remains in existence in our “Land of the Free.”

These same feelings only grow in intensity as social unrest continues across our country.

I echo the words of our Chancellor, Dr. Glenn Boyce and our Provost, Dr. Noel Wilkin, who denounced the “recurring cycle of tragic and senseless deaths” and expressed sadness for “African-American and other minority members of our university community who are fearful, anxious and frustrated by the lack of real and sustained change, and for towns and cities across America that are experiencing violence and chaos.”

I stand with you – our faculty, staff, students and alumni – in declaring that hate, prejudice and racism have no place at the University of Mississippi or in our society. I ask you to join together to answer the challenge ahead.

The challenge is not just rejecting racism, bigotry, hate and social injustice. It includes each of us making a personal decision to forge a better way for ourselves and our future. Consider if each of us did to others what we would want to be done to us. Would racial prejudice exist? Would there be such a thing as police brutality or the violent responses to these baseless actions? Would majority oppress minority? Would members of one community oppress members of another? Would a single individual be left to face our fallen world alone?

Together we must reaffirm that the School of Applied Sciences is a place for everyone to flourish. We respect the dignity of every person. We recognize and foster the diverse cultures, backgrounds, perspectives, talents and skills of our people. We strive for an equal, inclusive and just environment for all. We are committed to nurturing a healthy environment for everyone and to encouraging and inspiring a culture of inclusion and respect for everyone.

I pledge to redouble efforts for deliberate organizational improvement in how we respect, honor and serve each other.  Ours is an ongoing commitment and a continuous process. Let us do this for each other. Let us do this together.

Strength comes in healing. I pray for healing in our community, nation and world.

Peter W. Grandjean, Ph.D., FACSM

Dean, School of Applied Sciences | Professor, Exercise Science