President Hatch emailed this message to students, faculty and staff on March 17:
Dear Wake Forest students, faculty and staff,
Once again, our world is stunned by another unspeakable tragedy, this time against innocent Muslim worshipers gathered for prayer in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. To all of the Muslim students, faculty and staff members of our Wake Forest University community, and indeed to all of our Muslim friends and neighbors everywhere, let me express my profound sorrow, especially for the victims and their families. Good people everywhere, Muslim or not, have been shattered by this hatred and violence.
I stand in solidarity with you. I remain committed to all of our efforts together to make Wake Forest a place of inclusion and respect, love and understanding, and peace. Let us continue to do what we do best: building a learning community where we see each other as humans, united in our common humanity and rich in our diversity.
Wake Forest offers support and counseling services for all students, faculty and staff who are struggling or just want to talk. The University Counseling Center may be reached at 336-758-5273 and the Office of the Chaplain may be contacted at 336-758-5210. The Employee Assistance Program is available to faculty and staff at 336-716-5493. We encourage anyone having a difficult time to seek support.
Nathan O. Hatch
This announcement was emailed to students, faculty and staff on March 15:
Next Monday through Wednesday, March 18-20, all campus fire alarm systems, including those in off-campus University housing, will be undergoing work that will significantly affect how they operate.
If an alarm is activated by a fire or other event, it will alert those in a building, but it will not automatically notify, as it normally would, the University Police Department and the Winston-Salem Fire Department. During this this time, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to promptly call University Police at 336-758-5591 if an alarm is activated and tell police where the alarm is activated. University Police will immediately contact the Winston-Salem Fire Department.
Another message will be sent to students, faculty and staff once the work is completed and the fire alarm systems are operating normally, again.
This is a guest post from the School of Business:
The Wake Forest University School of Business will hold the 4th Annual Fit for Business 5K on April 6. The run/walk, planned by School of Business students, will be held on campus; the course begins and ends at Farrell Hall. This year’s race proceeds will benefit Junior Achievement of the Triad.
Junior Achievement of the Triad’s volunteer-delivered, kindergarten through 12th-grade programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy skills, and use experiential learning to inspire students in our community to dream big and reach their potential. This fall, graduate students in the School of Business were able to experience the impact of Junior Achievement of the Triad first hand as they went into local elementary school classrooms to teach financial literacy.
This event is open to the public, anyone can participate!
Ready to run? Register here. Just by signing up, you’ll receive a race packet, which includes a commemorative t-shirt (while supplies last), a chance to win giveaways, and the post-race celebration. More importantly, by just signing up you are making a positive impact on children and you in our local community!
If you’d like to make a difference without sweating, donations are also accepted. Contact Amanda Horton at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
This is a guest post from the Learning Management System (LMS) Review Steering Committee:
The LMS Review Steering Committee invites all faculty, staff and students to join us March 25-28 as we engage with vendors demonstrating what the Sakai and Canvas platforms can do for our community. The steering committee plans to recommend campus-wide adoption of one of these two systems by the end of the academic year, and feedback from those who attend these sessions will be an essential driver of that recommendation.
We have asked the vendors to demonstrate a variety of features, tailored to specific cohorts on campus. If your time is limited, we encourage you to make it to the first hour of the “Introduction to the Platform” sessions. You might also consider stopping by the “Open Labs” to explore the platform and ask questions.
President Hatch emailed this message to students, faculty and staff on March 13:
Dear Wake Forest students, faculty and staff,
Since my message to the campus community yesterday, I have received several emails expressing shock, disappointment and anger that Wake Forest volleyball coach Bill Ferguson was named in a federal indictment referred to by the U.S. Department of Justice as “Operation Varsity Blues.” The indictment alleges Ferguson accepted financial payments to influence the admission of a student that had previously been placed on the waitlist.
I am writing today to address some of the most frequent questions I have received and to make abundantly clear that Wake Forest is considered by the U.S. Department of Justice to be a victim of this fraud. In no way has it been suggested that the University was involved in the deceitful practices, nor were any employees, other than Ferguson, accused of wrongdoing.
As I stated yesterday, Wake Forest has cooperated fully with this investigation and will continue to cooperate with the appropriate authorities.
With this message, I wish to address the most common questions I have received:
Q: How are we supposed to make sense of this whole situation?
A: The Department of Justice considers Wake Forest and the other institutions named in the investigation to be the victims of fraud. The investigation into the corruption of the admissions processes at many well known institutions centered on the actions of William Rick Singer and his Key Worldwide Foundation. These institutions were allegedly compromised by complicit coaches and others who worked with Singer for their own personal gain to influence the admission of the children of his clients. Unfortunately, Bill Ferguson is alleged to have been one of those coaches. On Tuesday morning, Wake Forest placed Ferguson on administrative leave and named Randi Smart interim coach, effective immediately.
The integrity of our admissions process is intrinsic to our mission, and we believe the integrity of intercollegiate athletic competition is essential to the development of student-athletes and the support of our broader community. Wake Forest is reviewing our practices related to admissions and athletics to ensure that we are in complete alignment with our values.
Q: Does this scandal suggest a bigger problem with Wake Forest’s admissions office?
A: No. The review completed to date by outside legal counsel underscores that Bill Ferguson acted independently and was the only person at Wake Forest with knowledge of, and involvement with, the alleged misconduct. No other university employees, including admissions officers or other athletics staff, have been implicated in the investigation. The widespread cheating on admissions exams reported in the indictment does not pertain to Wake Forest.
Q: How is the application process different for student-athletes and non-athlete students?
A: Only students who demonstrate their ability to succeed academically at Wake Forest are admitted. Student-athletes and non-athletes complete the standard application and supplemental materials, including essays, a counselor letter of recommendation, high school transcript, teacher letter of recommendation and class standing. The admissions office depends on coaches to evaluate applicants’ athletic abilities and the contributions they can make to a team.
Q: What is going to happen to the one Wake Forest student mentioned in the indictment who had been waitlisted prior to admission?
A: The student was admitted and is currently enrolled. We have no reason to believe the student was aware of the alleged financial transaction.
As I told our campus community yesterday, the alleged conduct is in direct conflict with the values and integrity of Wake Forest and its athletics program. I am monitoring this matter carefully and appreciate your support of Wake Forest.
Nathan O. Hatch