This memo is about the speaker, Mr. Jalil Muntaqim, who is scheduled to speak on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. He was invited by a member of the faculty, Dr. Rafael Outland, in the Department of Counselor Education. There are important dimensions of Mr. Muntaqim’s visit to campus which may arise in your classes with students and with other faculty and staff colleagues.
First, the safety and security of our campus is our number one priority. Plans are underway to secure the safety and well-being of everyone who lives and works on this campus. Second, this institution is committed to academic freedom including diversity, equity, and inclusion. As my long-standing colleague, Dr. Howard Gardner has stated eloquently, educational institutions are meant to “get the mind to work better.” It is in the exercise of academic freedom that different viewpoints are expressed and then critically examined. And third, SUNY Brockport does not recognize or endorse the characterization of the speaker as a “political prisoner” yet respects the faculty member’s right to characterize him as such. Finally, there will be no State funds used to support the speaker’s fee – an anonymous donor has come forward.
Students will be curious about this event which should be acknowledged in conversations with them. For some students, if the event proceeds in person, the possible advent of large numbers of police on campus may be another traumatizing event. Further, some students may choose to not attend classes due to personal safety concerns on April 6, 2022. Our attendance policy includes the phrase “other circumstances beyond the control of the student” which will be accepted in this particular situation.
If you have other concerns about this event, please contact this office directly.
Linda M. Delene, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs SUNY Brockport