The following message was emailed to students, faculty and staff on September 19, 2019
Last week, an unknown individual or individuals with malicious intent sought to spread a message of bigotry, division and fear among members of our campus community through emails sent to seven members of our faculty and staff and five offices on campus. Our faculty and staff have worked to protect everyone on our campus while striving to preserve the integrity of the investigation.
We hear the questions posed by some of our students: can you see us, can you hear us, do you understand our lived experiences? Yes, we see you. Yes, we hear you. And, no, we cannot fully understand what some of you are enduring.
The emails, steeped in the vitriol of white supremacy and nationalism, were sent to individual and office inboxes associated with the Department of Sociology, the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the LGBTQ+ Center, and the Intercultural Center. These emails have hurt, scared, threatened, angered, and confused many on our campus in different ways. This cuts at the core of who we are at Wake Forest and impacts us all.
While none of the emails contained actionable threats or detailed a specific attack on our campus, they still managed to elicit the fear the sender intended. Wake Forest consulted with law enforcement and national threat assessment experts — including the FBI’s leading experts on domestic terrorism, white nationalism, and hate crimes — before deciding to continue classes and normal University operations. The increased police presence on campus and enhanced security measures will continue while the investigation proceeds.
Our decision to continue classes does not diminish the real emotions and concern some in our community still feel. We pledge to stand by all our students, staff and faculty when they experience hate and discrimination of any kind. We will revise protocols where necessary and improve on the processes that we know are effective. We must remember who we are as a caring and supportive community and move forward in the spirit of those values.
There are many sources of support for those of you who are affected by these hateful emails. The University Counseling Center (336-758-5273), the Chaplain’s Office (336-758-5210) and the Employee Assistance Program (336-716-5493) are invaluable resources, as are our friendships and circles of personal support. Please continue to look out for each other.
Nathan Hatch, President
Rogan Kersh, Provost
Jane Aiken, Dean of the School of Law
Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College
Charles Iacovou, Dean of the School of Business
Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life
José Villalba, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
Jonathan Walton, Dean of the School of Divinity
President Nathan Hatch emailed this message to students, faculty and staff on April 24, 2019.
Dear Wake Forest Students, Faculty and Staff,
It is my pleasure to inform you that Wake Forest University has chosen Jane Aiken to become the next Dean of the School of Law, effective July 1.
Dean Aiken comes to Wake Forest from Georgetown Law, where she has been a professor and administrator since 2007 and currently serves as the Blume Professor of Law.
Her distinguished career as an attorney, an advocate and a teacher-scholar – particularly in the areas of legal education, women’s rights and evidence – makes her exceptionally well qualified to lead our School of Law. Her leadership, vision and energy are exactly what we need to develop the brightest legal minds in the tireless pursuit of justice.
At Georgetown, Dean Aiken founded the Community Justice Project to enable students to represent clients in cases involving questions of justice where remedies are often transactional, policy-based or require extraordinary measures for adjudication. She has served as Associate Dean for Experiential Education and then Vice Dean for the Law Center, and she currently chairs the University Task Force on Gender Equity.
Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty, Dean Aiken was the William Van Cleve Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis. While at Washington University, she was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to teach law at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal. She has also taught in law schools at University of South Carolina and Arizona State University.
I am grateful to members of the search committee – chaired by Provost Rogan Kersh and guided by members of the Board of Trustees, Board of Visitors, faculty, staff, and law students – for bringing Dean Aiken to Wake Forest. I am confident her leadership will further strengthen Wake Forest’s position among the nation’s top law schools and I look forward to welcoming her to campus.
Nathan O. Hatch