President’s Office

President’s speeches, letters, and articles

To: Parents of first-year students

Subject: HUM 110 Protests

August 28, 2017

Dear parents of first-year students,

This morning, some students verbally disrupted in protest the first lecture of HUM 110. Faced with this disruption, the HUM 110 faculty had to make the difficult decision to cancel the lecture. Conferences proceeded as scheduled. I provide to you below the communication that was sent to the community from the Dean of the Faculty and the Chair of HUM 110. Additionally, as new members of our community, I offer you background on the protests and the assessment the faculty had to make today.

Last year, on September 26, 2016, student protesters, organized by Reedies Against Racism, challenged Reed administrators and faculty to scrutinize institutional policies and practices and to work together to combat racism on campus. Student protesters submitted a list of demands to me—ranging from enhanced financial aid and support services to changes to the HUM 110 curriculum. The Reed community is working collaboratively and diligently to continue to reform and strengthen our programs, policies, pedagogy, and practices to create and sustain an inclusive campus environment that meets the needs of all its members. You can read about the progress the college has made in the Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-racism at Reed Progress Report.

While we work together on these important issues, the orderly processes of the college must continue. Protests may not interfere with the academic program or prevent other students from learning. While Reed considers dissent to be fundamental to our life as an academic community, our faculty has affirmed that the right to dissent is not endless. Demonstrations or protests that disrupt the orderly processes of the college—including classes or lectures—may be considered a violation of Reed’s dissent policy and potential violations will be addressed through our honor process.

The HUM 110 class, including lectures and conferences, will proceed as planned going forward. Additionally, important discussions and progress related to diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism will continue.

John R. Kroger


Dear Reed community,

It is the intention of the Hum staff and of the college as a whole to continue to work hard on the issues that have come to a head in the last year, and at the same time to make sure all students have an opportunity to participate fully in Reed's educational program.

We have sought to create a space where students can express their views, even in the lecture hall, in a way that allows for the class to proceed. Last year this took the form of students protesting by sitting on the floor in the front of the lecture hall with signs, or by addressing students before or after lecture. Unfortunately, this morning some students decided to verbally disrupt the presentation, so the Hum staff made the decision to cancel the lecture.

Needless to say, we are disappointed that it has come to this and that we had to cancel the presentation. We will see the first-year students at lecture on Wednesday, and Hum conferences are meeting as scheduled today and every day.


Elizabeth Drumm, Chair, Hum 110
Nigel Nicholson, Dean of the Faculty