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Provost responds to faculty letter

Belmont administration has responded to a letter sent by 45 faculty members about human rights issues, encouraging “conversations that promote both intellectual and spiritual growth.”

Provost Dr. Thomas Burns responded to the letter sent to the Vision with the following statement Monday morning:

“The Belmont community includes 6,400 students and nearly 1,500 employees representing a wide spectrum of perspectives on issues. We value all of their opinions. The letter sent to the Belmont Vision by a small group of faculty represents their personal opinions on several topics. As a Christian university, Belmont is committed to providing both an academically engaging education and a caring campus environment. We support the free exchange of ideas, encourage thoughtful and respectful discussion, and believe that it would be best to address such issues through conversation and dialogue. As Provost, I hope that members of our community are willing to engage in conversations that promote both intellectual and spiritual growth.”

The letter, sent by 45 faculty members, was sent to “state firmly our position on crucial issues that are a part of the community’s conversation and reflection.” The letter, which began with Belmont’s mission statement, stated their position against the use of torture and the overzealous use of the death penalty. It also supported the upholding of the Constitution and U.S. laws.

“Belmont University welcomes diverse opinions and perspectives as part of our goal to provide an academically challenging education and to create a community of intellectual exchange. We honor the tradition of academic freedom and the freedom of all of our community’s members to use discernment to determine their perspectives and actions. That said, our community also seeks to be a place of courage, particularly courage to stand for the ‘least of these,'” the letter said.

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