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A Message from President Hatch

Dear Wake Forest,

Last February, Melvin Washington (’14) delivered a senior oration titled, “Who is Wake Forest?” During Melvin’s provocative remarks about the power of diversity he said, “I walk past the same majestic chapel, wait in the same long lines at Subway, take some of the same classes, and in May I’ll cross the same stage, but our Wake Forests are different. Our Wake Forests are different because our experiences are different. Our experiences are different because we’re all different people. However, there is beauty in that difference and its intersections where we all consider ourselves Deacs.”

Over the past several weeks, students from different races and backgrounds have united under the banner of “Forward Together” to demand action and accountability for a Wake Forest that will stand together, in the intersections of our different experiences, and proclaim that racism, bias and cultural insensitivities will not be accepted as part of the Wake Forest experience.

As students took to social media, raw emotion, aggression and defensiveness drowned out the mutual desire for justice, inclusion and equity. Emotion is a sign we care. We care about issues of identity and race and about being understood. All of us – faculty, staff, students and administrators – care.

All of us came to Wake Forest to learn. We pride ourselves on educating the whole person and extending learning beyond the classroom. Now is the time to put our holistic approach to education to the test.

I encourage you to learn from each other. Avoid the anonymity of social media for the weekend and talk to someone with a Wake Forest experience different from your own – face to face. Take the time to read the action steps currently being implemented by University Police and Campus Life, distributed yesterday by Vice President Penny Rue. Embrace the opportunities to live in the intersection of our differences.

Wake Forest will be better for your efforts.

Nathan O. Hatch

A Message from Vice President Penny Rue to the Campus

To the Wake Forest community,

In my first year at Wake Forest, many people — students, faculty and staff — took time to tell me what was special about Wake Forest, and for that I am grateful.  It helped me begin to know this place in a deeply meaningful way.  Others took the time to tell me what they think is wrong about Wake Forest, and for that I am even more grateful.  Wake has a quest for excellence, and in that quest we must be fearless in our ability to look honestly and constructively at our community.

One of the most searing moments of my first year was a Town Hall meeting, organized by students last spring, to share concerns about bias and mistreatment from university police.  Their stories were poignant and painful, and they underscored what I had already learned: that not all Deacs feel the same sense of inclusion.  As one African American student had said to me, “Oh, we feel welcome, Wake is a welcoming place.  We just don’t feel valued.”  This must change.

As a previous message to the community sent by Assistant Provost Barbee Oakes and me stated, the recently released report investigating bias in the police department was conducted by independent consultants.  What is clear in reading this report is that we have much work to do to improve our police interactions and to gain the trust of the university community.  This pressing need connects us to a national conversation about injustice in our country, as it should.   These actions have already begun, and include comprehensive bias training for police personnel, recruiting for diversity in the department, independent investigations of complaints, and improved community relations and communication.  (See Appendix A for a more complete list of actions.)

In addition to the steps being taken to improve policing, we are creating opportunities to listen closely to student concerns and pursue a more just community, including an upcoming Deliberative Dialogue on Campus Climate led by the Pro Humanitate Institute.  Bias incidents are receiving prompt response due to our new on-line Bias reporting option.  A group of student leaders are working with the Pro Humanitate Institute to bring Sustained Dialogue to the Wake Forest campus.  Intercross-cultural capacity educational oportunities are being developed by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for Global Programs and Studies.  Below you will see our division’s strategic priorities.  These will guide us through the challenges we face together.

•       Lead a comprehensive approach to student and community wellbeing

•       Integrate civic engagement and responsibility locally and globally

•       Foster an inclusive culture of peer engagement, leadership and accountability

•       Cultivate a community where all students feel a sense of belonging and are valued contributing members

•       Prepare students to lead in a diverse environment with cultural fluency

 It has been my life’s work to partner with students to strengthen a shared sense of community and inclusion. I and my colleagues pledge to work side by side with interested and committed students to create a healthy climate for all.  I invite you to share your thoughts about how best to accomplish this critical goal.  Working together, I know we can accomplish it.

Please join me in renewing our commitment to creating a truly engaged and inclusive community characterized by student ownership and engagement.


Penny Rue
Vice President for Campus Life


Appendix A

University Police Department (UPD) Action Plan


Training and Community Awareness

Note: calendar of activities for ’14-’15 academic year are being created in conjunction with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) and the Professional Development Center (PDC).


Month Program Coordinated By
May  UPD Full Staff meeting ODI conducted a Gatekeepers Refresher Session UPD & ODI
June UPD Leadership Team Projects UPD & PDC
July Planning for UPD to complete Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) UPD & ODI

  • 13
  • 28
UPD Staff Meeting Safe Zones Refresher & IDI Presentation Add statistics to WebsiteUpdate email threadRelease ReportBiased Incident Reporting Kick Off with Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) UPD, ODI & LGBTQ Center   UPD & Campus Life Partners Campus Life Partners Campus Life Partners
Fall Semester Host First Collegiate Trust Talks with WSPD BIRT Team Training and Community Awareness Sessions Launch Cook Ross Unconscious Biased Training for UPD and other Campus Life partners “Train the Trainer” Models for potential instructors “Coffee with a Cop” Sessions BIRT Training for Team, UPD and Public Information Session UPD, ODI & Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD) UPD & ODI  UPD & ODI  UPD & ODI  UPD ODI, UPD & BIRT Team w/ Margolis Healy and Associates
Spring Semester Citizen Police Academy Senior Celebration UPD ODI & UPD
To be determined Town Hall Meeting Student Leaders


Additional Departmental Training

Training Conducted By
Gatekeepers I ODI
Gatekeepers II ODI
Gatekeepers III ODI
Safe Zones LGBTQ Center
Verbal Judo NC Justice Academy
Security Officer Training NC Justice Academy


Other Activities to Enhance Community Awareness and Communication

  • Engage and partner with Faculty Fellows to meet students where they live
  • Develop Citizens Police Academy and recruit attendees for Spring Break 2015
  • Establish WFU Student Patrol program
  • Involve students  to help plan and participate in Scenarios Videos
    • How many ways can you contact UP?
    • See something – say something!
    • What should you do if an officer or university official approaches you and you are in the possession of alcohol?
    • Why should you always have your WFU ID? Talk about officer’s role in asking for student ID

Ensure Respectful Communication

Require respectful communication that begins with leadership team and is clearly communicated, understood and supported bottom up, top down and sideways throughout the department.

  • Sergeants and Corporals developing plan to support five Campus Life strategic goals throughout department
  • Expedite objective complaint response process by outsourcing complaint investigations
  • Video all interactions with existing Body Cameras
  • Randomly review officer and communications interactions for quality control
  • Develop police department contact follow up survey
  • Explore officer exchange program with WSSU to enhance communications skills
  • Trust Talks with WFUPD, WSPD and Students, Faculty, Staff
  • All personnel are taking Intercultural Development Inventory to become more aware of their unconscious biases 

Recruit for Diversity 

This is a high priority. As a private institution, WFU officers do not receive state law enforcement benefits.  As a result, our most qualified applicants are seeking second career.

  • Working with HR to develop comprehensive plan
  • Incorporated a role play scenario to screen for awareness and sensitivity to cultural diversity into selection process for all employees
  • Contacting “high achieving” officers from other agencies and having conversations
  • Continuing to research opportunities for WSSU officers to assist with NPHC events  

Equity in IFC Social Events in Lounges and NPHC Large Venue Requirements

Responsibility for Barn Management rests with the Office of Dean of Students. The Large Venue Event Guidelines Task Force is currently meeting to address:

  • Revisions to the guidelines
  • Communications plan for the revised guidelines
  • Capacity
  • Presale tickets and ticket distribution
  • Staffing (numbers and level of supervisor on scene)
  • Event management staff
  • Pre and post event requirements and meetings
  • ID scanning and security technology
  • Event action plans

Increase the monitoring of IFC lounge events by event management staff, police or security personnel.

Aligning Day Shift Supervisors with Night Shift Supervisors

  • Immediate initiatives include a supervisor planning session, summer leadership development and team projects
  • Short term plan is to rotate shifts and supervisor assignments
  • Longer term project is to create a Patrol Lieutenant with Day Shift Sergeant over each squad and night shift Corporal

ID Checks

  • Additional Training
  • Signs in strategic areas
  • Researching handheld ID scan technology to be used in the field

U.S. News Ranks WFU Among Top 30 National Universities

U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 Best Colleges guide ranked Wake Forest University 27th among 280 national universities.

Wake Forest has been ranked in the top 30 in the national universities category for 19 consecutive years. The University has been ranked in the top 25 five times.

Last year, Wake Forest was in a five-way tie for 23rd in its overall ranking with Carnegie Mellon University, the University of California-Los Angeles, the University of Southern California and the University of Virginia. This year, Wake Forest tied with Tufts University.

“We are proud of the educational experience that we offer at Wake Forest,” said Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch. “As we focus on preparing individuals to lead lives that matter, we are pleased to be recognized among the top national universities for the exceptional quality of our institution.”

Read the full story at the Wake Forest News Center.

Friday’s the Big Day

Communications and External Relations sent the following email to the campus community.


Friday’s the Big Day!

We’re kicking off Thrive, Wake Forest’s comprehensive approach to wellbeing, with an interactive festival September 5 from 3-6 pm on Manchester Plaza.

The Wake Forest community is also invited to attend two very important groundbreaking ceremonies on campus earlier that day:

- Sutton Center at Historic W.N. Reynolds Gymnasium, 2 pm at Poteat Field

- McCreary Fieldhouse, 3:30 pm at Parking Lot F, adjoining the Doc Martin Football Practice Complex

We hope you can join us as we celebrate wellbeing at Wake Forest.


Thrive event email blast2

September 2014 Dining Update

ARAMARK/Campus Dining has shared the September 2014 Dining Update  with the Parent Programs Office.

Important Parking Information for Sept. 3-5

The University will temporarily close some parking areas to accommodate events planned for September 5.  On that day, the University will kick off its comprehensive approach to wellbeing, called Thrive, and celebrate groundbreaking ceremonies for the Sutton Center at historic W. N. Reynolds Gymnasium and the McCreary Field House.

Parking lots to be affected include F, U and U2:

– Lot F: Motor vehicles should be removed from Lot F by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 3. A limited number of spaces will be available to faculty and staff in Lot F on Thursday, September 4 until 5 p.m. Lot F will be closed all day on Friday, September 5. The lot is located on Wingate Road between the football practice field and the Facilities Management and Campus Services buildings.

– Lots U and U2: Motor vehicles should be out of the lots U and U2 by 5 p.m. on September 4. Lot U will be partially closed on September 5 and Lot U2 will be completely closed on that day. Both lots are near Palmer and Piccolo residence halls.

To assist faculty and staff who normally park in those lots, shuttle service will be available on September 5 to assist any who opt to park, instead, in a University lot off Long Drive, across from Winston-Salem First Church.  A shuttle will run from that lot to the southern area of campus from 7 to 9 a.m. and again from 4 to 6 p.m. on September 5.

The University appreciates the cooperation and patience of faculty and staff who typically park in these lots.

Wake Forest Communications and External Relations


Celebration of Rev. Bob McGee’s Life

A celebration of the life of the Rev. Bob McGee will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, September 6, in Wait Chapel.
Rev. McGee, known to many on campus as Father Bob, died August 30 in Winston-Salem.  He served the University community for more than 30 years as the Episcopal campus minister.
More information about the September 6 service is available in an obituary published in today’s Winston-Salem Journal and on the Hayworth-Miller web site.
Wake Forest Communications and External Relations

Career Tips and Resources from the OPCD

The Office of Personal and Career Development (OPCD) wanted to make families aware of the following events and programs available to your students.


Walk-in Hours:  We are accepting walk-in career coaching appointments every Monday-Thursday from 10:00 – 12:00 and 1:00 – 4:00 as well asFriday from 1:00 – 4:00 until September 17, 2014.  We are also welcoming Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn Profile reviews from 1:00 – 4:00 on Monday-Thursday. 

Work Experience Report: Please encourage your son or daughter to submit their work experience for this past summer and academic year.  Whether they had a full or part-time job or an unpaid internship, their information is helpful for other students and necessary for institutional reporting. They can submit their details at 

Career Fair: September 17th from 12:00-4:00 in Benson 401.  The Fall Career Fair will take place on September 17th from 12:00pm–4:00pm in Benson 401.  Students should be dressed in interview attire and ready to network with potential employers. 

For additional information on upcoming events and programs sponsored by the Office of Personal and Career Development, please visit our website at

Rev. Bob McGee

We are saddened to inform you that the Rev. Bob McGee died in Winston-Salem today, August 30. Rev. McGee was the Episcopal campus minister at Wake Forest for more than 30 years.

We grieve Rev. McGee’s death and extend our condolences to his family and friends, as well as those at Wake Forest who had the opportunity to know him.

A service is expected to be held in Wait Chapel.  The University will announce details when they are available.

Wake Forest offers support and counseling services for all students, faculty and staff.  The Counseling Center may be reached at 758-5273, the Chaplain’s Office at 758-5210.  For faculty and staff, there is also the Employee Assistance Program at 716-5493.

Wake Forest Communications and External Relations

Important Message to Campus from Vice President Rue and Assistant Provost Oakes

A letter from Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue and Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Barbee Oakes to the campus community.

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

The Office of Campus Life and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion are excited to begin the 2014-2015 academic year at Wake Forest. As students, faculty, and staff prepare for the fall semester, each of us must unconditionally renew our commitment to creating an inclusive environment for every member of our community.

This pledge is critically important as Wake Forest continues to build a diverse and global campus. Consider that:

  • Diversity in the undergraduate population has increased by 32 percent since 2008.
  • Twenty four percent of the class of 2013 came from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Ten percent of our incoming 2014 undergraduate class are international students representing 28 countries.
  • Our student body is now more diverse than ever; racially, ethnically, culturally, religiously, socio-economically and more.

Consistent with Wake Forest’s commitment to creating a safe and inclusive environment, University Police, along with the Office of Campus Life and Office of Diversity and Inclusion, spent this summer reviewing concerns expressed by students related to perceived racial bias on campus and event management practices at parties held in the Barn and Reynolds Gym.

University Police engaged independent consultants to conduct an examination of these concerns. The consultants reviewed police records, analyzed arrest data, and interviewed dozens of students, as well as University employees.  The results of the consultants review included recommendations to:

  • Improve the cultural awareness and sensitivity of our university police department and campus community;
  • Increase the timeliness of complaint investigations;
  • Enhance University Police and Community Relations; and
  • Evaluate risk management practices at NPHC events and lounge parties.

The report can be found at

Among our early action steps, we created a tool to report incidents of bias. The Report Bias website offers an effective way for students, faculty, and staff to bring an incident – suffered or witnessed – to the attention of University administrators.

The Bias Incident Review Group, led by the dean of students, Adam Goldstein, and the assistant provost for diversity and inclusion will review all submitted reports of bias. Upon review of each incident, the group will assemble a team to support individuals involved and help take steps toward resolution. These steps may include strategies for addressing environmental factors that would reduce the likelihood of future incidents. Special training for the Bias Incident Response Team and key stakeholders is being planned as well as general community information sessions.

Additionally, a social event management working group has been active this summer developing a plan for evaluating risks associated with student events where more than 200 people are expected to attend. This approach defines a richer partnership between students and staff regarding event and risk management.

In collaboration with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, University Police and other Campus Life partners will participate in additional training by Cook Ross, a nationally known consulting firm, to raise awareness of unconscious bias. In addition, we plan to host the first collegiate “Trust Talks” program in partnership with the City of Winston-Salem Human Relations Commission.  Trust Talks: Human Relations Approach to Police and Community Dialogue is based on programs utilized in other communities in the United States that have proven to be successful in breaking down barriers and improving communication between the police and the communities they serve. This Trust Talks program will be a three-hour facilitated session with University Police, the Winston-Salem Police Department, and guests from the five other colleges and universities located in Winston-Salem.

The entire campus will also be encouraged to participate in existing cultural competence education programming, which include the GateKeepers Workshop Series, Safe Zone Training, and other training and development opportunities offered throughout our community.  To learn more about upcoming workshops and training, visit

As a liberal arts institution, Wake Forest’s purpose is to facilitate academic diversity by maintaining an atmosphere of mutual respect and intellectual pluralism. Every one of us in the Wake Forest community has a vital role in building an inclusive environment in which to learn, work and play.

We look forward to working with the members of our community to “wed knowledge, experiences, and service that lift the human spirit” — words that President Hatch describes as the heart of our motto, Pro Humanitate, and our University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Penny Rue
Vice President for Campus Life

Barbee Oakes
Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion