Embracing diversity, inclusion and respect

Dear School of Management Community,

Like many of you, I have been deeply saddened, disturbed and concerned by the tragic and senseless death of George Floyd, as well as other similar incidents in recent months that, unfortunately, have a long and painful history.

Injustice, intolerance and racism in all its ugly and harmful forms have no place in our community or nation. President Tripathi stated as much in his communication to the UB community over the weekend, and I would like to further emphasize that message. Our values at the UB School of Management embrace just the opposite—we strive to provide a vibrant and diverse community that is inclusive and compassionate.

Our mission is to discover and deepen our understanding of management concepts and applications that drive effective organizations and use them to produce principled and insightful leaders who create positive change in the world. How can we advance our goals of defining the future of management, making a positive impact on business and society, and forging highly capable, engaged and ethical leaders in ways that help us fulfill our vision of a world of transformational leaders and organizations who change society for the better?

This is a time not only to pause and reflect, but also to act. I have been heartened by the many strong and empathetic statements provided by business leaders in the past few days denouncing racism and pledging to take progressive steps to address underlying problems. I agree with their positions and hope you do too. Business can—and should—be a positive, constructive force for advancing society.

I hope we can have constructive and positive conversations as a UB School of Management community on how we can continue to do our part to fight racism and discrimination and work toward a more just society and sustainable world. As you may know, this past year, we added a new leadership role in the School of Management—our assistant dean of diversity and inclusion, Mary Ann Rogers—to help us move forward in these areas. I look forward to working with Mary Ann and hopefully with many of you in the days ahead as we actively affirm and embrace our values of respect, diversity and inclusion.

All the best,

Paul Tesluk
Dean and Professor