Response to Open Letter

Community Engagement

Dear Brown School Community,

I have received an open letter signed by many Brown School students, parents, faculty, staff, and alumni. It details their dissatisfaction with the university’s response to Saturday’s protest against the violence in Gaza and Israel. I am sincerely grateful for the care and thoughtfulness that went into developing and distributing the letter. It has hundreds of signatures and is another example of the principled advocacy that we pride ourselves on. I am frequently impressed with our community, and this is no exception. The Brown School community at its core is values driven. Each of us is dedicated to social justice and equity and pursue those ideals in both our personal and professional lives.  

There is no doubt that there is a growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza that needs to be addressed.  Alleviating human suffering is essential for protecting human rights and ensuring the dignity of all. Many from the Brown School community are actively engaged in addressing this crisis, from sending supplies to supporting our community partners who are acutely focused on this issue. 

Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting with about 60 students. Many students are worried about the Brown School students who have been suspended and wanted to know what those students should expect. Details regarding the official process can be found here. I am in communication with the Chancellor, Provost, and senior leadership of the university and have asked that the current suspensions and any pending criminal charges be dismissed. I am connecting impacted students with the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. G., so that they can better understand the options that they have in this process. I have also relayed our students’ concerns and shared the stipulations in the open letter. Additionally, it is my understanding that they are reviewing the demands that have been presented to them by the protesters. I expressed the need to balance the importance of the free exchange of ideas with ensuring our community’s safety as they continue to review this incident. I am committed to engaging in the same passionate advocacy that those signing the letter have demonstrated. 

The conversation yesterday was a great place to start. My apologies that my schedule prevented me from staying as long as I would have liked at this event and the unclear way that was communicated to those who attended. I look forward to continuing our productive dialogue. Together we can build a stronger sense of community at the Brown School, and I am grateful for your partnership in this effort.  

As the letter so eloquently states, the Brown School has long been dedicated to elevating service to others. Your voices are heard, and your actions are appreciated. Let us keep striving to be the change we wish to see in the world.

Please take good care of yourself and those around you.  If you need additional supports, resources are listed below. 


Dorian Traube, PhD, LCSW (pronouns: she/her/hers)  
Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean of the Brown School and Professor  
Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis   

Student Resources: 

In addition, we welcome conversations with you to help you navigate these resources. If you would find this helpful, please contact:

Faculty & Staff Resources: