- Eight prominent college presidents have signed a letter calling for the next U.S. president to make civility and globalization a national priority for national security and domestic development.
- The letter, issued from the NAFSA: Association of International Educators, does not name specific candidates, but insists that tolerance from the highest office will send a signal worldwide to engage in better practices of humanity and freedom.
- NAFSA officials say many member presidents are disappointed in the election season, but have been hamstrung by boards against making public political statements.
If there is an industry most impacted by national reaction to diversity and changes in race relations, it is higher education. Colleges and universities have a major stake in the ability of different people learning and working together, and with the increasing emphasis on safe space and campus tolerance, it is in the best interest of leaders to engage nationally on behalf of their very public business interests.
But more importantly, the letter sends a signal that higher education takes a serious view of political activity which influences the nation's industrial imperative. And given the tenuous position of this election, and the impact it could have on the university enterprise in research, racial harmony and workforce development, the call for unity is one that other institutions should look to join and upon which they could expand.