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Statement of the Dean, April 12, 2016

April 13, 2016


A guest column in the State News on April 12, 2016 raised serious issues about whether James Madison College is welcoming to transgender students.

While I cannot comment on the details of any individual complaint and subsequent action, the situation described in the letter was addressed two years ago as soon as it was brought to the attention of college leadership. I have always encouraged any student to come to me or my staff directly with any concerns they have regarding inclusion and diversity.

There is no place at James Madison College for the exclusion or harassment of students, faculty, or staff on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. We take any concern very seriously and strive for an inclusive living, learning and work environment.

James Madison College has always been a place where people from all walks of life come together to tackle the biggest questions facing our society. It is of the utmost importance to me that our faculty provide the highest and most humane standards of professional conduct and acceptance of differences among our students, faculty and staff. We are committed to creating an inclusive space where that work happens.

Sherman Garnett