January 7, 2021
Dear Members of the University Community—
We all watched in horror yesterday as extremists launched an historic assault on our democracy and the U.S. Capitol. It was painful to watch and I know it is difficult to process these events. I categorically condemn the violence and the attempt to interrupt the peaceful transfer of power. Fortunately, enough order was restored last night to allow Congress to confirm President-elect Biden’s election.
We have succeeded as a nation for over 200 years and been a model for other nations based on our commitment to democratic principles. We are a nation of laws and the pursuit of justice through the courts. Our nation in general and our universities in particular must commit to a sincere search for truth, in the context of a swirl of untruths and half-truths, and regardless of its relationship to our political preferences. At UNH and in higher education in general, we must continue our efforts to help people understand the importance of democracy, the rule of law and how to critically examine information to reach valid conclusions.
James W. Dean Jr.