UNM Mentoring Institute issues apology

The Mentoring Institute at UNM expresses its deep apologies for the poor language used in a previous tweet earlier today and the lack of representation of people of color in the plenary speakers’ line up.

We ask everyone to accept our humble apology in the hope that this mistake does not affect the work of more than 300 concurrent presenters already scheduled for this year’s conference. 

In the past nine years, this conference has brought more than 3,000 scholars and practitioners to discuss and dialogue about mentoring. It is in their work where diversity, equity and inclusion are reflected.

As of yesterday, we had two presenters pending on their presentation publication that would have shown a more diverse line up; we have already added the information of one of them this morning and we are expecting the information of the second one next Monday.

We are listening to your feedback, and in response, the Mentoring Institute is committing to creating a steering committee and an open nomination process for the selection of plenary speakers for next year’s conference.

With deep regrets,

The UNM Mentoring Institute

Reminder from Interim President Chaouki Abdallah to the UNM campus that our words reflect on who we are and what we value 

Dear members of the UNM Community,

Yesterday, we were reminded of the power of words, their effect on others, as well as on this university. Social media has the power to amplify those words exponentially. The Mentoring Institute, which serves to promote a culture of mentoring through diverse experiences and events, responded via social media to a tweet about the lack of diversity within a panel discussion at a conference they were hosting. Their response contained an offensive term.

While I do believe it was unintentional, nonetheless, this social media account is one of the many voices representing The University of New Mexico. The Mentoring Institute takes their work very seriously, immediately issued an apology, and is listening to community feedback. They will create a steering committee and an open nomination process for the selection of plenary speakers for next year’s conference.

I am communicating on this issue to the campus today, not in defense or admonishment of the department, but as a reminder to us all that the words we use when representing this university must align with our values of respect, civility and inclusivity. Each of us defines all us in the talents, passions and ideas we possess as Lobos. Let each of us each define what is best about all of us, together, as a university.

Chaouki Abdallah                                         
Interim President