Dear Linfield community,
We have closely watched the unrest among some students and faculty in recent months over alleged misconduct by members of the Linfield University Board of Trustees. We understand this has caused anxiety within our community and led to division and suspicion during a summer in which we can’t gather easily for discussion.
Given the information that has been circulated to date, students have every right to feel upset. However, we have grave concerns about the amount of misinformation that has been sown throughout the community in recent months.
Today, you received separate messages from the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees and Board Chair David Baca, in an effort to correct and clarify the misinformation. As the university stated on June 30, there are no pending allegations by any Linfield students involving sexual misconduct against current trustees.
We have heard from faculty members and students who are angry about perceived wrongdoing. We have also heard from faculty members and students who feel bullied for being supportive of the university and its leadership. Emotions are running high, but personal attacks against our students and colleagues have no place at Linfield. It’s fine to disagree; it is not fine to be disagreeable.
It’s vitally important for you to know that Linfield is, by all measures, a very safe campus. We have one of the lowest crime rates (including sex-related crimes) of any college or university of our size in the region. Still, we should always strive to do better and to ensure that all of our students feel safe on campus. The university has in place – and continually updates – best practices involving student safety and Title IX policies. We are also committed to preserving confidentiality and privacy. While some in our community have breached those practices of late, we never want to discourage students from coming forward out of fear that they will be ostracized for doing so.
Be assured that our trustees, like our faculty, staff and students, want the best for Linfield. Many trustees are alumni; all take their volunteer roles seriously. We will share more information – as allowed by law – about the results of pending investigations as soon as they are available.
In this challenging year, we hope that everyone in our community is healthy and safe. We look forward to seeing you at the start of the new school year.
Scott Nelson ’94
Associate Vice President