Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
Pink flower blossoms at N A U's Flagstaff campus.

On living our values

Dear Lumberjacks,

As communities across the country react to the human suffering and loss of life resulting from the terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas and the ongoing Israel-Hamas War, the news is filled with reports of hateful anti-Semitic speech and heated, sometimes violent, encounters between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian groups—some of which are taking place on college campuses.

In the face of what we see unfolding on our news feeds every day, we must continue to commit ourselves to fostering a safe environment in which all Lumberjacks can learn, study, inquire, and advocate in the collective pursuit of a brighter future. 

At NAU, we stand for peace, human rights, and a humanitarian approach to the resolution of even the most complex of challenges, and we condemn anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. There is no room for acts of hate and bigotry of any kind on our campus.

Nevertheless, against the backdrop of what is happening across the country, members of our community have expressed legitimate and understandable concern for their physical safety and mental health and for the potential that as the Israel-Hamas War evolves, our campus climate could deteriorate.

So, I want to reiterate two important points today.

First, I encourage all members of our university community to review the resources available to support their well-being, whether they are affected by these or other events taking place locally or around the world. Importantly, if anyone feels in immediate physical danger, please contact the NAU Police Department or another appropriate local law enforcement agency. NAUPD also has non-emergency resources for reporting crime or other concerning behavior.

Second, as our university and external community continue to engage in formal and informal forums on our campus to grapple with these painful and complex issues, it is my sincere hope that all members of our NAU community model and encourage empathetic and respectful civil discourse, reject hateful rhetoric, and help others feel safe in expressing their ideas and identities. Our community has always demonstrated strong compassion for each other and embraces our culture of care, and we must continue to uplift this value and work together to ensure that all Lumberjacks can succeed and thrive. 

In the days ahead and always, let’s remember that it is in universities—where individuals from all walks of life come together and put their biographies in the context of the larger narratives of history, society, and culture—that something powerful, even magical, happens. As individual perspectives are broadened and collective connections deepened, the journey to shared understandings and promising solutions is advanced.

As Lumberjacks, we have an important, shared responsibility to uphold this idea of what a university is and does. I have no doubt we can and will fully meet this responsibility.

In partnership,

José Luis Cruz Rivera's signature.

José Luis Cruz Rivera