In an open letter to the Kansas University community Monday, Chancellor Gene Budig said he will not tolerate discrimination on the KU campus.
The letter came after several student protests regarding a recent University Senate vote to continue granting credit for Reserve Officers Training Corps classes. University Council earlier recommended withholding credit from ROTC courses beginning in 1995 if the DOD had not changed its policy.
Some members of the university community believe that the Department of Defense policy excluding gays and lesbians from military service conflicts with KU's own anti-discrimination policies.
"In recent months, disturbing reports have come to us of acts of discrimination against students and colleagues including those who are African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian, who are Jewish, who are women, who are gay or lesbian, or who are from other cultures," Budig said.
"THE UNIVERSITY must be a place where diverse cultures, ideas and lifestyles are celebrated," he said. "Regardless of an individual's race, sex, sexual orientation, ethnic diversity or religion, that person has the right on our campus to be free of intolerance and harassment. Acts of violence are particularly abhorrent in a university community.
"We will not tolerate violence against individuals or disruption of our academic programs. We cherish our diversity at the University of Kansas. We are committed to preserving and enhancing that diversity. We pledge to continue to listen to the concerns of all members of the university community and to continue to work to find solutions to those concerns."
IN ADDITION, Budig has approved a University Council resolution calling for a committee to open lines of communication with the Department of Defense.
University Council passed the resolution at its meeting Thursday.
No deadline has been set for formation of the committee. The committee's members will include at least two University Council members, one faculty member and one student. Membership will be jointly approved by Budig's office and faculty governance groups.
Members of the committee will work with national associations to lobby the Department of Defense to change its policy. It is DOD policy that "homosexuality is incompatible with military service."