(Tuesday, Oct. 17)

Dear Wake Forest community,

This past weekend we learned about a social media post made by a Wake Forest faculty member on a personal X account (formerly Twitter). The posted comments caused significant anxiety and fear for members of our community. We take such matters very seriously. We do not condone or support the views expressed in these posts. As a matter of principle, we affirm the right to individual freedom of expression. And, to be clear: statements that diminish the value and dignity of human life or condone the use of violence are counter to the values inherent in the Pro Humanitate ethos of Wake Forest University. 

As this global crisis continues to unfold, members of our community may feel compelled to speak publicly, and at times in ways that may conflict with the University’s stated values. Free expression and academic freedom are foundational to the mission of higher education and the tradition of constructive and civil discourse and debate at Wake Forest. Adherence to both applicable laws related to First Amendment protections and Wake Forest policies guides University actions when free speech and our institutional values come into conflict.

The University website dedicated to this current crisis reinforces our collective responsibility to make space for constructive dialogue, debate and civil discourse while also providing care and support for all community members. Ongoing efforts to support students, staff and faculty will be continually updated on this site.

Your ongoing commitment to our community binds us together as we navigate the emotional and political responses to this crisis in the coming days, weeks and months. And for those among us who are deeply and personally affected by this conflict, please know we are with you and that we support you.

Thank you, 

Susan R. Wente

Michele Gillespie