Dear Georgetown Law Community,

I write to you today to follow up on President DeGioia’s message about the Campus Cultural Climate Survey that was just released. The university conducted this survey last spring to better understand the experience of students, particularly students from a range of personal and experiential backgrounds, across the university and how our campus environments impact those experiences. I want to thank the more than 1,000 law students who gave their time and energy to participate in this survey. With your feedback, you have reinforced our mandate to act.

The findings confirm a fact we have been discussing for much of this year: that a disproportionate number of Black, Latinx, Asian, and LGBTQ+ students have negative experiences at Georgetown, both in the classroom environment and in their overall sense of belonging.

Our values at Georgetown Law are unwavering: aspects of one’s background or identity should never prevent any student from receiving an excellent education and having an enriching experience. But as these findings underscore, we have much more work to do as an institution to ensure that every student may fully thrive at the Law Center. The disturbing video we confronted together last month serves as a further, painful reminder of the urgency of this work.

I have heard your voices, and today I am reiterating our commitment to building a more inclusive and equitable environment at the Law Center.

Last month, I shared with you that we would be taking a number of steps to advance our work of making the Law Center more inclusive and equitable. These include: providing additional support for students of all backgrounds, faculty professional development about inclusive pedagogy, resources for the development of classroom materials, continuing to examine proposals for curricular reform, and a review of our procedures for incident reporting. As we move forward on that agenda, I have asked Professor Anthony Cook and the Diversity Committee to carefully review these reports and make additional recommendations. Law Center administrators who contributed to the survey planning and analysis will be discussing the survey’s results and classroom and climate issues with community members. They will host brown bag sessions to take place this Spring after finals and in the Fall semester. Finally, our Office of Assessment and Decision Support (OADS) plans to conduct follow-up analysis of the data on additional areas of interest. Follow-up reports will also be made available to the Georgetown community. I expect these conversations to generate additional steps we will take to move forward in this area.

I am ever mindful of our obligation to address the injustices of racial bias, animus, and discrimination that we confront as scholars, lawyers, and lawyers to be. That work must of necessity begin here with us, on our campus. I am committed to working with you on this most important goal of making Georgetown Law a more inclusive, equitable, and supportive environment for all members of this community.

Bill Treanor