I think education gives you perspective. It allows you to see things. I know education did that for me, and that’s what I consider true education.
I want to make sure, moving forward, that we [make] universities as open, safe places where every single idea, no matter how disgusting to anyone, can be debated openly and shared without fear.
Universities have to go back to that, because I think we have deviated from that. And as provost, that is something I always want to make sure is found in my university.
When I [was] an undergrad, the craziest things would be discussed, and I could tell someone, “I disagree with you. I don’t like what you’re saying.” And it was an open, fearless conversation. I love that about the United States. I came back 25 years later, and everyone is taking care of what they’re saying, and everyone is fearful. I’m like, “We’re in the university. You can say whatever you want. Let’s discuss it. I wanna hear it. Why are you thinking like that?”
We’re not here to only discuss nice little things that you like. We’re here to make you think, to present things that might upset you. And then to have you grow from them.
That is what gives you resilience.
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