Message from Provost Wente and Interim Vice Chancellor Smith on offensive email

Dear colleagues,

Late last night, we became aware that a deeply disturbing email containing racist language and promoting white supremacy was sent to members of the Vanderbilt community. The language and sentiment contained in this message are abhorrent and antithetical to our values as a university community. We condemn this message and the tactics of sowing distrust, division and hatred that it employs. Equity, diversity and inclusion are bedrock values of the Vanderbilt community.

Vanderbilt IT has been working through the night and continues today to identify the source of this email and to stop its dissemination and that of any further such emails. VUIT believes this effort was an external attack designed to look like an official Vanderbilt email. Out of an abundance of caution, do not click on any links in the email or respond to it. VUPD is also aware of and tracking this issue. The fact that the communication was NOT an official Vanderbilt University email or correspondence does not diminish the pain that it has caused to members of the Vanderbilt community.

We know this is deeply disturbing and hurtful. University resources are available to any community member seeking assistance.


Susan R. Wente
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Tina L. Smith
Interim Vice Chancellor for Equity Diversity and Inclusion