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Supporting Our Faculty

Dear members of the Northwestern faculty, 

We write today to affirm our commitment to an inclusive environment where all in the Northwestern community feel welcomed, supported and valued, and in which their scholarship broadens perspectives and contributes to conversations about the most important matters of our day.

On our campuses, mutual respect and civility serve as the foundation for all academic inquiry. At Northwestern, we do not tolerate intimidation or harassment by any member of our community against another, and we also strongly condemn attempts by those outside of our community to threaten or silence our faculty, staff and students in any way.

Recently, a number of Northwestern faculty have been the targets of such abuses because of their scholarship. Some of the most vile online attacks, including death threats, have been directed toward faculty of color and critical race theorists. We would like to thank members of the Northwestern community who have brought such issues to our attention, and we want to affirm our support for the academic freedom of those faculty members who contribute to the study of race, anti-Blackness and critical race theory. We uphold the academic freedom of all our faculty and affirm their right to pursue their academic work, unfettered by intimidation, and we will continue to take every necessary action to provide support.

The Office of the Provost is working with internal and external resources to respond to and address threats against members of our community, whether based on identities, scholarship, disciplines or any combination. We also are in conversation about additional measures to ensure the safety and dignity of all in our community.

We all must demand and expect respect for each person within our academic community. In particular, we affirm our colleagues of color who have been contributing to urgent conversations about racial equity, structural anti-Blackness and social justice. It is unacceptable for anyone on this campus or elsewhere to attempt to intimidate, harass or silence members of our community.

If you are impacted by harassment or discrimination that affects the University’s working or learning environment, including that which may occur online or off campus, we want to remind you of available resources. 

  • Our Office of Equity is dedicated to fostering a culture of access, belonging and accountability for all Northwestern community members, including supporting those impacted by discrimination or harassment. Reports can be made to the Office of Equity via its website, by email to or by phone at (847) 467-6165. Those wishing to file an anonymous report may do so via the EthicsPoint report form or hotline at (866) 294-3545. 
  • Faculty and staff can access the Employee Assistance Program, which provides a network of services including free and confidential short-term counseling.
  • Northwestern’s Faculty Wellness Program offers assistance to full-time faculty members who are experiencing difficulties in their professional or personal lives.
  • All members of the Northwestern community can access Religious and Spiritual Life, where chaplains are available to talk confidentially and provide support. Additionally, a number of affinity groups can offer support. 
  • If you receive threats of physical harm, contact Northwestern University Police Department (NUPD). If you feel that you are in immediate danger, contact 911

Evanston NUPD

  • 847-491-3456 (or dial 456 from any campus phone)
  • 847-467-7883 (TDD)

Chicago NUPD

  • 312-503-3456 (or dial 456 from any campus phone)
  • 312-503-3999 (TDD)

It is essential that our scholars be able to play active roles in understanding and shaping our society. May we all do our part to facilitate this.