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Our Response to a Racist and Bias Incident

This week, we learned a “Black Lives Matter” sign inside the School of Medicine was repeatedly defaced since the beginning of August. The owner of the sign first wrote “Black Lives Matter on a whiteboard on their office door and came back to find “Black” had been erased. They replaced the whiteboard with a “BLM” sign taped to the door and returned to find cut marks on both the sign and the office door.

This aggressive act goes against the university’s policy, values and mission. Our Racist & Bias Incident Response Team has been notified and is working with the appropriate departments to identify the person(s) responsible, as well as communicate with the most impacted communities.

At a time when nationwide protests over the killings of Black people continue and the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting African Americans, we stand in full support of the Black Lives Matter movement and are actively taking steps to become an anti-racist campus grounded in equity and inclusion.

We want any member of our campus community who has been impacted by this incident to know that we recognize the profound anger, hurt, fear and frustration these acts cause. We know that when we say Black lives matter, we must also act like Black lives matter. Creating a safe, welcoming and equitable campus is our top priority, and is our intent to hold anyone acting against this mission accountable.

If you come across an item that is defaced, note the location and notify a campus official. If you have questions about the university’s posting policy or are interested in learning more about the variety of resources the U offers to support diversity and inclusion, please visit the Office of the Dean of Students in the Union Building, Room 270,, 801-581-7066.

The University Counseling Center is available to provide support to students and/or groups who have been adversely affected by this incident at 801-581-6826.

Affected faculty and staff can access mental health support via the Employment Assistance Program.


Mike Good
Dean, School of Medicine
Senior Vice President for Health Sciences

Paloma Cariello
Associate Dean – Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Peter Jensen
Chair, Department of Pathology

Mary Ann Villarreal
Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Lori McDonald
Vice President for Student Affairs

José Rodríguez
Associate Vice President for Health Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion