Satish Udpa's Jan. 31, 2018 letter to the campus community


Faculty and Staff:

I am writing to you at a time when the university community continues to be in a state of shock, experiencing great sadness caused by the actions of an individual whose values were completely antithetical to those of ours and the institution we hold dear.

The pain inflicted on young women and girls, some of whom are our students, indeed our children, will remain seared in our memories as long as we live. We share their anguish, and our first obligation is to help them recover and become whole.

We have a long and difficult road ahead as we respond to multiple investigations and lawsuits and navigate changes in leadership. We may be tested as more facts emerge and light is shed on our past actions. We cannot change the past, but we can and will devote time and resources to fostering healing and creating a culture that provides a safe environment for all members of our community.

Even as we navigate this difficult time, we must not falter in serving our students and other stakeholders, from advancing knowledge and transforming lives. Let us learn from the past and improve in the future. Let us show that we are better than what outsiders perceive us to be. We and the good citizens of Michigan are too invested in us to let this opportunity fail to improve us. Let us promise to do better tomorrow than we did yesterday. To do any less is a disservice to our conscience.

MSU has been a beacon of hope for more than 160 years to many around the world. While we are ready to identify and face our mistakes, we cannot stop building on the mountain of good that we have been privileged to build. We cannot let this tragedy define us. Our collective will to be a force of good has to prevail.

And while we are at it let’s make sure we treat each other civilly and with kindness and make sexual harassment and other forms of abhorrent behavior alien to our culture. We owe it ourselves to create an environment where everyone is given an opportunity to grow and thrive.

I am ready to meet with you to discuss what we can do to begin to heal and move forward and gear ourselves to serve our students and other stakeholders better as we move forward.

Satish Udpa, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President for Administrative Services