June 1, 2020 - Statement from Chancellor Sobolik following the tragic death of George Floyd

Dear UMSL Community,

The tragic and unjust death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week and protests across the country and our region remind us all that our nation still struggles with systemic discrimination and racially motivated injustices. This is an untenable situation that must end as a matter of justice, equity and human dignity.

We recognize the trauma this is causing in our community at a time when COVID-19 has already laid bare the social inequities in our region and nation as African Americans and other people of color have been disproportionately impacted by its toll. We all share this sadness, pain, frustration and anger, and we promise to support our community with empathy and respect. I have included a number of resources below for students, employees and others to discuss difficulties, process emotions and gain support.

As University of Missouri System President Mun Choi, my fellow chancellors and I conveyed in a message last week, we do not tolerate discrimination or acts of hate in our community and encourage robust, respectful dialogue. Regardless of race, gender, identity, preference or perspective, we all come together to learn, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect and to thrive. Now, more than ever, we must remain grounded in our core values of integrity, inclusion, innovation, access, success and engagement.

We have an obligation to model those values beyond our campus to elevate our region. We must do everything possible to strengthen our communities as an institution of opportunity, as an epicenter for regional recovery and as a university focused on building inclusive prosperity.

In the aftermath of the civil unrest in Ferguson in 2014, so many of our faculty, staff, students and alumni brought positive change in the wake of tragedy. They assisted in healing through counseling, public discussion and artistic expression. They conducted research to uncover underlying inequities and offer solutions that promoted dignity and fairness. And they did what the university has always done: provide access to quality, affordable education that creates opportunities for people, no matter their background, to thrive on whatever path they choose.

Much of that work continues. There is much more to do. But our university is committed to remaining a force for good, lifting up our community and working to end injustice. We will continue to share our collective efforts as we move forward – together – as a university community committed to being a beacon of hope for our region and those we serve.


Kristin Sobolik
University of Missouri–St. Louis


University Resources

Health, Counseling and Disability Access Services: Students can make an appointment with a counselor to discuss a variety of concerns, including personal, psychological and crisis intervention – including participation in weekly online group support sessions. 314-516-5711

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Guides the university’s Inclusive Excellence Framework, provides support and services that promote diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice, as well as compliance with equal opportunity laws and regulations. 314-516-5695

Employee Assistance Program: Available to all employees, EAP is a confidential, professional service for employees, their families, retirees and organizational units with services ranging from individual counseling services to unit-level supports. 314-516-5824

Offices of Civil Rights and Title IX: Enforces the university’s non-discrimination policies, educates the community about policies and practices, connects people to resources should they experience discrimination or retaliation and listens to concerns of the campus. 314-516-4538

Community Psychological Services / Center for Behavioral Health: A not-for-profit outpatient mental health center established by UMSL to provide psychological services to residents of the St. Louis metropolitan area. 314-516-4357

Missouri Institute of Mental Health: Partners with governmental agencies, human service organizations and research teams in an effort to improve lives through the promotion of mental health via research, evaluation, professional training, program development and community outreach. 314-516-8400

Children’s Advocacy Center / Child Advocacy Studies: A university-based, multidisciplinary center that provides high-quality trauma-focused services to youth, families and the community as well as preparing trauma-informed professionals. 314-516-6798

Academic Advising: Students needing support in their academic endeavors can reach out to advisors for help you make informed decisions on your academic career path. 314-516-5396

Student Academic Support Services: Provides academic support services through comprehensive programs that promote student achievement resulting in academic, personal and career success. 314-516-5128

UM System Integrity and Accountability Hotline: A secure, non-university hosted hotline for those to raise questions or voice concerns about workplace and university issues, or those who believe a violation of law, policy or standard has occurred. 866-447-9821