Letter from Georgia Tech Vice-Provost McMath, 07/08/04 · 08 July 2004

July 8, 2004

Sara Dogan
National Campus Director
Students for Academic Freedom
1015 Fifteenth Street, NW Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Ms. Dogan,

President Clough discussed your letter of June 23 with me and asked me to reply. We share your interest in this important area - principles of diversity and policies that guide universities in promoting a campus climate that encourages diversity of opinion and upholds the freedom to express it.

For over ten years Georgia Tech has published in our catalog a "Statement on Human Relations" which is similar in tone and substance to the document you shard with us. Our statement is cited in full below, and in addition I would direct you to our Statutes and By-laws for policy statements concerning freedom of expression and student-faculty relations, which is available at http://www.academic.gatech.edu/handbook/, Sections 2.5.2, 2.5.3,, and


Georgia Tech is a diverse community, composed of individuals and groups with a variety of religious, racial, national, cultural, sexual, and educational identities. The continuing need to deal constructively with this diversity is one of the great challenges facing us over the next two decades.

The challenge is both professional and personal. Professionally, we increase the opportunities in our lives if we are able to constructively manage and guide such diversity with tolerance. The challenge is also personal because each of us has a legacy of religious, racial, national, cultural, sexual, and educational prejudices that influences our lives.

Each member of our community must be committed to the creation of a harmonious climate because one cannot be neutral to this challenge. Those who are committed to it strengthen Georgia Tech and themselves. Individuals who choose not to commit to the challenge, via acts of intolerance, jeopardize their continued affiliation with the Institute. Those acts may be defined as attempts to injure, harm, malign, or harass a person because of race, religious belief, color, sexual-orientation, national origin, disability, age, or gender.

To belong to a global society, Georgia Tech must be a pluralistic institution. Only by embracing diversity, multiformity, and variety can we gain stature, strength, and influence in that global society.

The Institute is committed to maintaining academic and working environments free of objectionable conduct and communication that would be construed as sexual harassment. The determination of what constitutes sexual harassment will vary with particular circumstances, but it can be described as unwanted sexual behavior, such as physical contact or verbal comments that adversely affect the environment of an individual.

Thank you once again for your letter.


Robert C McMath, Jr.
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and
Academic Affairs

cc: President G. Wayne Clough, U.S. Senator Zell Miller, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, Ben Scaffity, Education Advisor to Governor Perdue, U.S. Representative Jack Kingston, U.S. Representative John Lewis, State Senator Eric Johnson, State Senator Bill Hamrick, State Senator B. Joseph Brush, State Senator Vincent D. Fort, State Representative Louise McBee, State Representative Mable Thomas, State Representative LaNett Stanley-Turner, Dean Stephanie Ray, Ruth Malhotra, Georgia Tech Student