Presidential Inauguration

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As we continue to process events surrounding the inauguration of our nation’s next president, I hope you are taking care of yourself and those who rely on you. Recent events at our nation’s capital, threats made on our state’s elected officials and the increased public safety presence around us may cause anger, fear and grief. You may find it difficult, at times, to process the reports of violence and the sense of injustice these events may evoke. 

It may appear as if the foundational principles of our nation are crumbling; that we face further threats. Some have uttered the words “second civil war.” It may create trepidation as we look ahead to what might be next for our society and our government. Nothing I say can resolve these feelings and thoughts for you.

However, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I would offer his profound quote to help guide and comfort us. "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

We stand in solidarity with our neighbors around the nation who unequivocally denounce all acts of violence or intimidation and in creating inclusive environments where opinions can be shared respectfully. We must remain steadfast in our own, individual commitments to higher education. I believe that education is a vital key to a more equitable and functional society.

I want to assure you that our campus’ highly competent Public Safety Department has been making preparations in case any unrest surrounding the inauguration moves our way.

As a student or employee, you are enrolled automatically in our emergency StarAlert emergency communication system so we can contact you (if needed) through phone, text and e-mail communications. Students can update their StarAlert contact information through eServices following the instructions on the Registrations and Records page.

Employees can update their contact information through State of Minnesota Employee Self-Service. In addition, alerts are posted on, through social media, using a campus-wide paging system and other communication channels as appropriate. Providing a safe campus environment is our priority.

Please join me in a continued, common commitment to serve as a voice of civility and peace. I hope you stay safe and well.

Dr. Pierce

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