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Statement on Initiating Independent Review

To the Clark community,

This past Tuesday we announced our intention to undertake a review of the events earlier that day in which four Clark students were arrested. We write with an update regarding this commitment. An independent review, which began today, will be led by Michael Angelini from the Worcester law firm of Bowditch and Dewey. The scope of this review is specific. We seek to gather as much information as possible on the events of Monday evening into Tuesday morning as they pertain to Clark University and our students. This process will be conducted thoroughly and expeditiously and we will share the results with you once it has concluded.

We must be clear that this is not a review of the Worcester Police Department or of its relationship to Clark. As announced Tuesday, we have discontinued the use of off-duty Worcester police officers to help support the University’s own police force, as well as discontinuing the policy that requires a police officer in attendance at large student events. These discontinued elements had been parts of the overall approach to campus safety at Clark at certain times of the year. We are confident that the Clark University Police Department, comprising sworn police officers, is able to meet these needs.

We also want to address the questions some have raised that the announcement on Tuesday severed all ties with the Worcester Police Department. We did not state or intend that. The Worcester Police Department continues to play the critically important role in responding to campus emergency calls that it always has. We are committed to working with local police, and with those on our own campus, to ensure a safe campus community and be responsive to the concerns of everyone who shares it. Engagement and dialogue are vital to continued progress.

This independent review will undoubtedly touch upon issues of race in our community, yet addressing those significant and urgent matters goes beyond the scope of this review. As we noted on Tuesday, the steps we have taken thus far only begin what we intend will be a sustained and action-oriented Clark dialogue about how to support and protect all people of color among our students, staff, and faculty. Clark is committed to the free exchange of ideas, to the worth of all people as equals, and to standing with our students, and all others, who advocate peacefully for these ideas in every forum. We are determined in the weeks and months ahead to explore with you how the University can and will do more to advance the causes and fundamental values of equity, justice, and inclusion on campus, in Worcester, and beyond.


David Angel, President

David Fithian, President-elect