The Faculty Steering Committee (FSC) wrote the following statement provided to the Pleiad following their faculty meeting on March 3.
The statement was made in response to an alleged confrontation between Albion resident Hazel Lias and former Albion College President Mathew Johnson on Dec. 14, 2021. Lias, who held a press conference three days later, said Johnson met with her and apologized. Albion’s Board of Trustees announced Johnson’s resignation on Dec. 24, 2021.
The following is a statement from the FSC:
Statement made by FSC at the March 3, 2022 Faculty Meeting
We are disheartened to see our communities torn apart because of a continuing narrative that suggests one can only be antiracist if one supports our previous president and his initiatives. A key component of being antiracist is acknowledging injury and attempting to ameliorate the harm.
Albion College’s (current & proposed) values and diversity statement make clear that “We seek […] to foster an environment of mutual respect, acceptance, appreciation and caring for all members of our community.”
FSC acknowledges hearing Mrs. Lias’ truth of having been insulted, degraded, and embarrassed on the College campus and we extend our utmost support and compassion to Mrs. Lias in acknowledgement of the harm she experienced.
In addition to acknowledging this hurt, we also acknowledge that many within our community have been injured by the words, actions, or inaction of others.
FSC also acknowledges that Albion College’s efforts to engage with community partners in pursuit of civic or economic goals have sometimes been ineffective or harmful. We encourage the College leadership, faculty, staff, and students to pursue such goals justly and respectfully.
We ask that all members of Albion College seek truth, thwart intimidating behavior that obstructs mutual respect, and work in collaboration with the Community of Albion.
The Purpose of the College states, […we seek diverse individuals ] “whose perspectives can contribute to a process of mutual education within and outside the curriculum. This aim can best be achieved in an environment where individuals value differences and enter into constructive dialogue toward common goals. By pursuing our educational mission, we believe all members of the Albion community will grow in the capacity to work, live and serve effectively with others.”