A Message from the President

Mar 06, 2019

Dr. Henry N. Tisdale Official Photo (2)The General Conference, the legislative body of the global United Methodist Church, passed what is called "The Traditional Plan" at its meeting held nearly three weeks ago in St. Louis, Missouri. At its core, the plan upheld restrictions on performing same-sex marriages and the ordination of LGBTQ individuals.

Given Claflin University's affiliation with The United Methodist Church, it might lead you to wonder where Claflin stands in the aftermath of the vote. As you well know, Claflin was founded in 1869 on inclusion principles which are well-preserved in virtually all of our long-range planning tools to achieve sustained excellence.  Take, for example, the University's mission statement: "Claflin is a diverse and inclusive community of students, faculty, staff and administrators who work to cultivate practical wisdom, judgment, knowledge, skills and character needed for globally engaged citizenship and effective leadership."  

It is further articulated in one of the University's Guiding Principles, "Commitment to Valuing People," which states, "We will value people by providing a safe, wholesome and healthy environment that fosters mutual respect, diversity, and inclusion." And the fourth goal in the University's Strategic Plan 2016-2021 clearly delineates a commitment to diversity and inclusion. The goal states, Claflin will seek to "develop and implement an action plan that ensures excellence in diversity and inclusion among students, faculty and staff and the greater university (sic) constituency."  From these reaffirming pronouncements, it can be concluded that Claflin strongly and enthusiastically embraces diversity and inclusion. 

My position and values align with the University's statement on non-discrimination. It states that "Claflin University does not discriminate in the administration of its admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, educational policies, athletic programs, and other University programs and activities on the basis of an individual's actual or perceived race, sex, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from pregnancy related conditions, veteran status, alienage or citizenship, or disability."

As we continue to develop a diverse and inclusive community of globally engaged visionary leaders, the University will continue its commitment to academic enlightenment for the purpose of social justice, tolerance and acceptance of all humanity.

- Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, president of Claflin University 

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