Speeches and Writings

September 21, 2015

To the University Community:

As you may be aware, UVA is one of more than 130 institutions under review by the US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) regarding compliance with Title IX requirements on sexual assault. That review concluded today with the issuance of OCR's findings regarding UVA and the University's signing of a resolution agreement.

August 12, 2015

Dear New UVa Student:

I write to welcome you to the University of Virginia. In just a few days, you will join a community that has high standards for academic rigor, integrity, trust, and respect for others. By choosing UVa, you have embraced these values along with us, and we look forward with great excitement to your arrival.

March 31, 2015

Dear Members of the U.Va. Community:

Perhaps the greatest challenge facing higher education today is the need to balance two equally important and equally demanding obligations: to sustain academic excellence while ensuring that a college education remains affordable for students from all financial backgrounds. The University of Virginia has taken a bold step to resolve this dual challenge by creating an historic new program called Affordable Excellence.

March 19, 2015

Dear Parents:

Yesterday, I wrote to our students and employees to express my deep concern about an incident that occurred on The Corner and to provide information about immediate steps that I have taken in response. As the safety and security of our students is my primary concern, I write today to share this information with you.

March 18, 2015

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

March 18, 2015

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

I write to express my deep concern about an incident that occurred on The Corner early this morning and to provide information about immediate steps that I have taken in response.

January 30, 2015

Good afternoon. I’m pleased to see so many members of our University community here today. I want to recognize the University’s Rector, George Martin, and Board of Visitors member, Dr. Steve Long. Thank you all for coming.

December 15, 2014

Dear Students,
Tomorrow we close what can be described only as a heartbreaking semester. As you head home to surround yourselves with family and friends, I wanted to take a moment to tell you how much you have been in my thoughts.

December 8, 2014

Today is the first day of final exams, and in a few weeks we will end a tumultuous fall semester. Three members of the Class of 2017 have died this semester, and the sense of grief and loss is palpable. In addition, many members of our community are grieving over the deaths of young black men in Staten Island and Ferguson.

December 5, 2014

The University of Virginia is aware of today’s reports from the Washington Post and the statement from Rolling Stone magazine.

The University remains first and foremost concerned with the care and support of our students and, especially, any survivor of sexual assault. Our students, their safety, and their wellbeing, remain our top priority.

December 1, 2014

The publication of the Rolling Stone article, and the passionate reaction of our students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and community members, have caused many sleepless nights for those of us who care about UVA.  The passionate reaction tells me this:  the behavior depicted is not something we will accept as normal, and the actions by seven men as described in the story have betrayed us.  We have a problem, and we are going to get after it. 

November 25, 2014

Good afternoon. Thank you for assembling on such short notice.

This afternoon I want to address you from the heart. 

The story in Rolling Stone is shocking.  My initial reaction was numbness. That numbness quickly turned to anger.  I want to make it perfectly clear to you, and to the watching world: Nothing is more important to me than the safety of our students. Not our reputation, not our success, and not our history or traditions.

November 22, 2014

Dear members of the University Community,

Over the past week many of you have reached out to me directly to offer your opinions, reactions, and suggestions related to combatting sexual violence on Grounds. I want you to know that I have heard you, and that your words have enkindled this message.

At UVa we speak in idealistic terms: honor and tradition inform our thinking, and balance our daily actions. And it is easy here, where success is demanded as much as it is sought, to let our idealism outweigh our reality.