To the George Washington University Community:
I am pleased to offer you a very warm welcome to the spring semester and share some thoughts about the months ahead.
As GW’s chief academic officer, I see the start of a new semester as an opportunity to refocus and recommit to our core mission as a university: the creation and pursuit of knowledge that will change the world. We are a serious research institution with a global profile, premier location, and impressive breadth of expertise. These marks of distinction mean we have a unique ability to convene thought leadership, provide space for healthy and rigorous debate, and help drive public conversation on a range of important and complex topics. Of course, we have an obligation to engage in these conversations with due care and thoughtfulness. We must share our beliefs and points of view respectfully, and we must truly listen to each other and work to understand perspectives different than our own.
These fundamental insights are important for our entire community to understand and embrace in our day-to-day work, and especially for our faculty and students, because they underlie a key precept of university life: academic freedom. The work of faculty and students is anchored in freedom of inquiry and freedom of expression, which are the very foundation of our existence as university. An abiding faith in and protection of academic freedom is what makes a university community distinctive. Not surprisingly, our many successes and our positive reputation at GW are dependent upon our continued ability to exercise these freedoms. This work is challenging, but it is endlessly rewarding.
Whether you are a student, a faculty member or a staff member, you are part of the GW community because you believe in our pursuit of academic excellence and our ability to make the world a better place through our thoughts and action. In this new semester, I encourage you to join me in recommitting yourselves to our academic mission through your individual efforts as well as your collaborations with your colleagues. Through this shared commitment, we will continue to grow, together, as a vibrant intellectual community.
I wish you all the best for a productive spring semester.
Christopher Alan Bracey
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Law