The message below was sent to the Fuqua community by Dean Bill Boulding on October 7, 2020:
I’m pleased to write you today to share our Racial Equity Working Group report. As you remember, in June we committed ourselves to make progress toward achieving racial equity, and to use our resources as a force multiplier to eradicate systemic racism more broadly in society.
Accountability was a critical part of those commitments. To ensure we could make true, meaningful, and deliberate change, I convened a Racial Equity Working Group charged with helping us develop specific goals, metrics and methods to measure our progress in this effort.
I’d like to thank the committee, chaired by John Graham and Derek Penn, for their extraordinary work in a short period of time. I am deeply grateful to the faculty, students, alumni and staff who served on the group. You will find their names listed below.
As many of you heard me say in the recent dean’s forum, what we stand for compels us to step forward in this moment, and in the years to come, to engage in the difficult, but profoundly important, work of dismantling systemic racism. We believe business activity provides a remarkable opportunity for societal transformation. We therefore have the responsibility of using the platform of business as a force multiplier to tackle pernicious and persistent issues of racial equity, justice, and fairness that plague society.
We believe in the power of Team Fuqua and that great teams will beat great individuals. We therefore have the responsibility to ensure that we eradicate barriers, both seen and unseen, that prevent deserving talent from getting in the game and playing at peak capacity. We believe decency is an essential part of leadership. We therefore have responsibility to care for, value, respect, and bring out the best in those who may have been marginalized simply because of the color of their skin. We cannot wait for others to lead the way. What we stand for compels us to act, and we must act now.
The Racial Equity Working Group report provides a roadmap for action. As these ideas are brought to life, many of you will be involved with implementation. In many cases that hard work has begun and the outcomes will surely be shaped by those engaged in these challenging, but ultimately rewarding, activities. I thank you for what you have done, and will do, in tackling these challenges. As we move from ideas to actions to outcomes, our pledge to you is transparency.
As we engage in this work, transparency will matter deeply. We intend to share with you and make public, on an annual basis, our progress as we engage in these efforts. Transparency will allow you to judge our progress and hold us accountable. Transparency will also help us learn from one another. My hope is that other schools and businesses will choose to share their efforts in a way that helps us identify best practices in eliminating systemic biases.
In the meantime, I want your feedback about either the recommendations in the report or additional recommendations you feel we should consider. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org -- a small team will monitor that email address and share your ideas and suggestions with me.
Hopefully, we will look back on this time and view it as a rededication to live our values. Dismantling centuries of injustice will not be easy. However, I am also confident that if any community is up to being the champion for real and meaningful change, it is ours. We are uniquely positioned to do so because our values compel us to act in the name of decency, always. We must build not just a better business school, but a better world – starting today.
Racial Equity Working Group Members:
Sam Baker, Daytime ‘21
Talia Klein, Global MBA ‘20
Alysha McFall, Daytime ‘21
Erica Taylor, Duke Medicine ’06, Weekend MBA ‘20
Owen May, MBA ’83, Board of Visitors Emeriti
Derek Penn, Co-Chair, ‘79, MBA ’84, Board of Visitors Emeriti
Manoj (MJ) Ramachandran, MMS ’13, Alumni Council
Stacey Rasgado, MBA ’07, Minority Alumni Advisory Board
Ed Bernier, Director Daytime MBA Career Services, MBA ‘06
Tom Kosempa, Director of Development
Stephanie Robertson, Director of Community Engagement and Inclusion, ‘01
Sharon Thompson, Assistant Dean of Admissions
Erin Worsham, Executive Director, CASE, ‘00
John Graham, Co-Chair, Finance, Fuqua Ph.D. ‘99
Rick Larrick, Management
Bill Mayew, Accounting
David Ridley, Strategy, Health Sector Management, Duke Ph.D. ‘01
Ashleigh Shelby Rosette, Management