To: Members of the University Community
From: Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost
Subject: Statement Regarding October 31 Protest
Date: November 2, 2020
Last Thursday, I wrote to members of our community outlining the efforts the University is making to foster community dialogue and engagement regarding our public safety function, including security and policing.
We have invited groups and individuals – including those with critical views of the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) – to schedule an engagement meeting by contacting Recognizing that there are a range of views and perspectives in our community about policing and UCPD, it is vital that we help build an understanding of progress that has been made and identify potential areas for improvement.
Unfortunately, a demonstration against UCPD that took place on campus this Saturday included acts of vandalism by some participants, including spray-painting vulgar language on Edward H. Levi Hall and on campus sidewalks. Some protesters also started a fire in a concrete planter on the Main Quadrangle that required a response by the Chicago Fire Department. The University will continue to promote and uphold civil discourse about important societal issues, and most protesters have acted in keeping with the University’s longstanding values of free expression. But we must be clear that acts of vandalism and arson are inconsistent with these principles and represent serious violations of University policy and the law. The vandalism and arson are being investigated and members of the University community who are found to be responsible will be subject to disciplinary action.
The University is actively seeking broad, civil engagement concerning public safety. We are deeply grateful for the involvement of those who have already participated in the public safety engagement meetings and are committed to continuing this process. I look forward to continuing to work with individuals across campus and residents of the local community. 
Academic values