December 14, 2023

Celebrating achievements, supporting our community

Dear Lewis & Clark community,

As the fall term comes to a close, I want to take a moment to congratulate you for the progress you are making in pursuit of your goals. You have almost made it to the semester’s end!

I also want to take a moment to update you on the ways that we, as an institution and as a community, have made progress this semester.

On the undergraduate campus, we welcomed our inaugural Native American Scholar-Artist in Residence, part of an initiative to establish and nurture deep, reciprocal engagement with Native and Indigenous communities. At the law school, our faculty and staff helped lead a movement that resulted in Oregon becoming the first state to adopt an innovative licensure reform. The grad school secured major funding from Oregon Health Authority to support the education of practitioners who will increase access to culturally specific and culturally responsive mental health services. These are just a few of our notable achievements this semester.

We are also building our capacity to engage in constructive conversations across our differences through the Community Dialogues initiative. More than 65 students, faculty, and staff from all three schools have undergone training in dialogue-based practices and are deploying them to improve engagement and inclusivity in classrooms and other settings. We’ve also seen tremendous participation in the structured small-group sessions on important topics, such as the Pioneer mascot and the campus impact of the conflict in Gaza and Israel. An expert faculty panel led a “Teach-In on Palestine and Israel” on the undergraduate campus that demonstrated the thoughtfulness and intellectual curiosity of our community.

Along with triumphs, I know many have faced challenges this semester too, some personal as well as those related to the impacts of the conflict. I continue to believe in prioritizing support for one another through it all, and making space for everyone to feel heard and cared for.

Congratulations again on a strong semester. I look forward to returning after winter break, refreshed and ready to continue supporting the well-being of our community, and celebrating all that we are achieving, together.


Robin H. Holmes-Sullivan, PhD