Staff and students may be aware of an appalling and unprovoked attack on a fellow academic colleague last week which prompted local media coverage.
Our colleague is receiving support from the University and we will continue to liaise closely with the police on this matter.
Professor Mark E Smith, President and Vice-Chancellor said:
“I am shocked and saddened by this truly dreadful and inexcusable incident. Our University does not, and will not, tolerate violence or discrimination against any member of our community. We all have a role to play in making all our staff, students and visitors feel welcome and safe.
“We are proud of Southampton’s culturally diverse history which is an important part of our city’s identity. Southampton has long been noted for its friendliness and incidents such as this one sadden us deeply.
“We wish to reaffirm that anyone who experiences a racist incident can confidently report it with the expectation that it will be investigated and appropriate actions taken including the involvement of the police if necessary. We have an inclusive culture, free from discrimination and based on the values of dignity, courtesy and respect. We recognise the right of every person to be treated in accordance with these values. “
The University is preparing to launch a new reporting tool soon so that students and staff can inform us of any matters of sexual misconduct, harassment, bullying or hate crime anonymously or by contacting an advisor to discuss the issue.
As members of our University community, there is always support available and we would encourage students and staff to seek the support services and assistance available.