Letter from the President and Provost

Assanis Courtesy of the University of Delaware
The administration’s letter regarding a potential rollback of federal legal protections for transgender people.

President Dennis Assanis and Provost Robin Morgan recently received a letter from faculty members who are concerned about media reports regarding a potential rollback of federal legal protections for transgender people. In response, President Assanis and Provost Morgan shared the following statement with the faculty. It is also posted on President Assanis’ website, udel.edu/president.

At the University of Delaware, we are committed to building a campus community that reflects the rich and complex diversity of the human experience, and this includes transgender and non-binary individuals. As a community, we work diligently to nurture a welcoming culture where everyone can express themselves fully and without fear of discrimination or exclusion. As an institution of higher learning, we are dedicated to the ideals of personal freedom, free speech and free inquiry, and we must always live out those ideals with civility and respect toward one another. You can read our values statement at www.udel.edu/values.

Gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation are all protected under the university’s non-discrimination policies. We will always enforce our policies, uphold our values and work to protect students, faculty and staff from discrimination. In addition, the university will reach out to Delaware’s congressional delegation, and we will continue to monitor the situation regarding a potential change to federal policy.

Our values are essential elements of our fundamental mission as a university. Faculty, staff and students are indispensable members of our community who provide the guidance and inspiration that drives our excellence. No one should feel unsafe, unwelcome or cut off from the full UD experience. Available resources for those who would like to seek counseling or other support are listed below.

In addition, our new Student Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board is one initiative we have launched to engage with students around these issues. Every student at UD is valued because every student is part of our great tradition of scholars, stretching back 275 years and looking forward far into the future. The University’s Division of Student Life is in close contact with LGBTQ organizations on campus to ensure that students know about the support systems that are available to them, whether in the residence halls, the Center for Counseling and Student Development or other offices.

Ultimately, it is up to all of us — every student, faculty member and staff member — to live out these shared values through daily interactions with each other and the rest of society. We are proud to be part of a community that upholds this culture of respect and inclusion.

Resources available to students, faculty and staff:

Assistance for Students:
• The Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays — 302-831-2141, www.udel.edu/counseling
• The UD Helpline is also available 24 hours a day — 302-831-1001

Assistance for Faculty and Staff:
• HMS/Health Advocates provides UD-benefitted employees with counseling 24/7 (phone: 800-343-2186 – give the name: STATE OF DELAWARE. This password also applied to online access on the website)

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