Dear UD Community,
Last Monday, I wrote with an update regarding a number of new initiatives at the University of Dallas. Today, I write to provide concrete information regarding the first civil rights information sessions of the spring semester and to reaffirm our Catholic identity and its foundational role in our understanding of human dignity.
Founded as a Catholic institution of higher education, with the local Catholic Bishop as its Chancellor, the University of Dallas is, as our mission states, “dedicated to the recovery of the Christian intellectual tradition and to the renewal of Catholic theology in fidelity to the Church and constructive dialogue with the modern world.” The University embraces Catholic teaching about the human person, who is created in God’s image, endowed with God-given dignity, rights and responsibilities, and called to a transcendent destiny. We affirm the religious liberty of Catholic institutions to proclaim Catholic teaching across a variety of areas, from concern for the poor and vulnerable to the sanctity of human life and human sexuality.
Because we embrace Catholic teaching regarding the dignity of the human person, we are committed to protecting the civil rights of all members of our community. I mentioned in the previous letter that UD recently adopted and implemented a new Civil Rights Policy. UD’s new policy provides a clear statement of principles that are important to UD, expands the involvement of faculty and staff in responding to civil rights complaints, and consolidates the University’s complaint process. UD’s Civil Rights Policy also sets forth the protocol for reporting complaints and the University’s process for investigating and responding to complaints. The Office of Civil Rights and Title IX is responsible for coordination and implementation of this policy.
To clarify our civil rights policies further, UD’s Director of Civil Rights, Luciana Hampilos, and General Counsel, Heather Lachenauer, will offer information sessions throughout the spring semester in the Catholic Foundation Room in Cardinal Farrell Hall every Thursday from 12-1PM and every Friday from 8-9AM. The first information sessions will be held this week on Thursday, January 28 and Friday, January 29.
(Note: for those who are not on campus this semester, virtual information session details will be forthcoming). Because we take these matters seriously and because there seems to be confusion about the policies and the role and scope of the Office of Civil Rights, we are requiring that all faculty and staff participate in one of these meetings during the spring semester.
Below is a brief video introduction to the work of our Civil Rights Director.
With warm regards,
Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D. BA ’82 MA ’83 President