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A Time of Change

06/09/2020

A Time of Change

Dear Montana Tech Community,

Two weeks ago, our nation witnessed the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of those who are entrusted to serve and protect our citizenry. Just two months prior, Breonna Taylor was killed while sleeping in her own bed, and in February, Ahmaud Arbery was murdered while out for a run. These senseless events and others like them have caused outrage, anger and frustration. They have also illuminated the corrosive and ugly nature of systemic racism within our society.

Over the course of the past ten days, we have witnessed a nation that is no longer willing to tolerate this behavior. This past weekend saw thousands of individuals marked by organization and determination, in both large cities and small rural towns, who let their voices be known. We are a country founded on the fundamental rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” While we have a long way to go when it comes to equality, equity and justice, we are at a period in time where our nation and the world has taken notice.

At Montana Tech, we pride ourselves on providing exemplary learning and an educational environment enriched by a broad range of backgrounds and interests. But we must do more. An institution of higher learning’s greatest strength is in its people and intellectual capital. We know that education has the power to transform lives, and we must be committed to being intentional in our work and deed to ensure our students are provided opportunities to engage and lead in a more just and civil society. In times like these, our work together as a community of learners and scholars has never been more important than it is right now.

These are challenging times for our nation and our world; however, I am fortified by the sense of hope, resolve, and determination of our citizenry. Confronting a global health pandemic, economic uncertainty, and the current racial strife are difficult challenges to face independently, let alone all at once. Yet, every day we see increasing evidence of a people and a country coming together committed to change for the betterment of all humanity, and for this, we must be grateful.

It is important to share that we won’t always get it right. We won’t always find the right words. However, if we are committed to the work we do together, to learning and understanding, as members of the Montana Tech family, we will continue to do this with grace, dignity and respect deserved by all.

Sincerely,

Les

Les P. Cook, Ed.D.

Chancellor

Montana Technological University