On his first day as our new UND President, Andy Armacost shared with the members of the UND community a very thoughtful and eloquent message. I draw your special attention to the following passage:
“On this first day as President, I’m filled with sadness at the recent tragedies in our own community and in our neighboring state of Minnesota. On Tuesday, we will honor the life and sacrifice of Officer Cody Holte of the Grand Forks Police Department, whose tragic death last week came in the line of duty. His wife, Amanda, is a recent UND graduate, and our hearts go out to her and the Holte family. Earlier in the week, we watched in horror at the senseless and racially unjust death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. We grieve with Mr. Floyd’s family and with our students who call Minneapolis and St. Paul home. Both events impact us deeply and highlight the continuing need to uphold the values of diversity, inclusion, and equity to build a just community. I pledge my commitment to open dialogue and action on the toughest issues we face as a nation and state for the benefit of all members of our community.”
As your Dean, I concur with President Armacost in both his sentiments and his resolution. As lawyers, law students, and those who serve in a law school, we have extraordinary opportunities to learn about, promote, and uphold principles of justice and the rule of law. In the United States, our Declaration of Independence proclaims the paramount value and significance of each human being, created equal and endowed intrinsically with inalienable rights. Our United States Constitution, as amended after decades of struggle to vindicate those ideals, is designed to equally protect those rights against government violation. And our laws–as flawed and contested as they often are–provide a vitally important means by which we seek to live peaceably together in a flourishing society and to resolve our conflicts with justice. In the midst of the many intractable challenges we face locally, nationally, and globally, I have great confidence that our UND Law Community will continue to be one where we engage with and care for each other in a spirit of peace, graciously unified in seeking to live and learn well together as we each pursue our vision of the common good under the law.
All my best,
Dean Michael McGinniss