Reaffirming our Commitment

Dear CUIMC community,

The global and local events of the last weeks and months have been deeply distressing, particularly for a medical center community dedicated to health and healing. We are saddened and extremely concerned about the tensions across the University, including among our community.

Despite the challenges of this difficult time, we are deeply grateful for all the messages we are receiving about the importance of upholding our shared academic, research, and clinical and community health missions. Over these last months you have supported each other, engaged with challenging conversations, and continued to care for our patients with kindness. We appreciate your commitment to these shared values and efforts.

We are keenly aware that, amid all the debate and discourse, there are members of our community who have lost, or fear for the safety of, loved ones in parts of the world blighted by violent conflict.  Too many have felt alone, traumatized, fearful, and more. The devastating violence and loss of tens of thousands of lives in the Middle East have profoundly affected the medical center community, particularly as professionals dedicated to protecting life and improving health. These have been difficult months and recent events may have compounded grief and trauma. Our hearts and thoughts are with you.

Disagreements are to be expected among a diverse and dynamic community such as ours. Such disagreements can be challenging, but we are stronger for our various perspectives and identities. The ability to navigate our differences with empathy and respect is a hallmark of a resilient, inclusive community. As we navigate these differences, we continue to come together to denounce antisemitism, Islamophobia, and all other forms of hate, bigotry, and discrimination, which are counter to our community values and have no place on our campus.

We expect that community members will continue to hold conflicting perspectives about the Middle East and the University’s actions during this time. Inherent in our educational mission is our support of our community members’ right to express their thoughts. A flourishing university community requires us to tackle tough and even divisive issues together to create knowledge. This must be balanced with the right of all members of our community to be safe and able to work, learn, teach, and care for patients without disruption.

The University and CUIMC offer many health and well-being resources for students, faculty, and staff. We encourage you to reach out for support as needed and to share resources with any member of our community who is struggling.

This will continue to be an immensely challenging time, for weeks and months ahead. We will need to redouble our work to build connection and trust. We hope that upcoming celebrations of our wonderful graduates will be an opportunity for us to reflect together and reaffirm our commitment to the alleviation of human suffering in all the communities we serve.


Katrina Armstrong, MD
Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences, Columbia University

Lorraine Frazier, PhD, RN
Dean, School of Nursing

Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH
Dean, Mailman School of Public Health

Roseanna Graham, DDS, PhD
Interim Dean, College of Dental Medicine