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Taking action: An important message from Interim President Jessell

Taking action: An important message from Interim President Jessell

February 2, 2022 at 5:51pm

Dear FIU family,  

Our university has always represented opportunity, and we have accomplished a great deal since opening our doors in 1972. We will continue to achieve student success and academic excellence and set the highest standards for our students, faculty and staff. I am proud to be part of the Panther community and I know you are as well.   

At the same time, it also has become clear we have work to do when it comes to our campus culture. We must continue to take all steps possible to prevent sexual- and gender-based misconduct, which have no place at FIU or anywhere else. FIU must continue to be an inclusive and safe institution, where everyone feels empowered to come forward when they encounter behavior that runs counter to our values and policies. When individuals do come forward, they must feel heard and have access to the resources they need. And every member of the FIU community must do their part to support those who have been harmed and to prevent misconduct. 

Each one of us – students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members – has a responsibility to advance a culture of dignity, respect, awareness and accountability. This is core to our values as an institution and what we stand for at FIU as a community. If you have a concern about discrimination, abuse or harassment in the FIU community, I strongly encourage you to visit our new reporting site at 

While FIU has had policies, procedures and processes in place, I am pleased that additional work to enhance campus culture started last year. The university took steps to ensure that our sexual misconduct reporting and investigation processes met the highest institutional standards. One of the steps taken was hiring a new Title IX coordinator to improve our efforts in this area. Those efforts include new training and increased outreach to students, faculty and staff on how to prevent misconduct. In the coming weeks, we will be announcing additional actions designed to ensure that all members of our community understand what is expected from them and what they can expect from this university.   

I want FIU to be a university that not only complies with what is legally required but that takes the right actions to ensure our culture is grounded in our values and that everyone feels safe here.  

Next week, I will host a dialogue with our Panther community. I want to hear from you about how we can come together to learn, heal and improve. Please stay tuned for additional information. It is important to me that you are part of this process. 

I look forward to connecting with you and welcome your feedback.  



Kenneth A. Jessell 
Interim President