Published: June 8, 2020

Dear AES students,

I write to you as chair of the Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences. Several faculty, staff, and some of your fellow students have contributed to the message that follows.

Black communities across the nation are deeply hurt and grieving the brutal killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other known and unknown violent deaths in Black communities. We join the clarion call to the nation to condemn these most recent, and all acts of racism and injustice.

We will not let another day pass without acknowledging the grief and suffering that many are experiencing, especially our Black students. As a department we are listening and learning, and we acknowledge the need to pursue a more inclusive space and culture that fosters and nurtures diversity, equity and inclusion. 

We stand with the College of Engineering and Applied Science against all acts of racism, and we encourage you to read interim Dean Keith Molenaar’s message sent on June 2, read and listen to Chancellor Phil DiStefano’s messages from May 29 and June 3, and read the June 3 message from Amy Moreno, the college’s director of inclusive culture. We also hope that you will take this opportunity to learn about ways to support Black communities and to help amplify their voices. The Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance’s Don’t Ignore It page and a new CU Boulder Today article offer tangible ways to take action and find resources to support friends, family and colleagues, be an effective bystander, seek support for your mental health, provide care for others, and other valuable information.

We must come together to nurture and grow an informed community of inclusion in our department. We will do this by listening to our students, staff, and faculty, including people of color in our department and across campus, and acting to promote a culture of inclusive excellence. We are a collection of professional engineers, teachers, researchers and staff devoted to engineering education and research. We are also students studying to build the technologies of our future. Our success depends on our willingness to embrace a diversity of people, thought and experience.  

In the coming months you will learn more about an inclusive culture working group forming in our department. I strongly encourage each of us to identify ways in which we can contribute to the group’s efforts as well as incorporate inclusion into our day-to-day actions. By working together, we can take this opportunity to make our department an inclusive and equitable place for all. 


Brian Argrow

Brian Argrow signature

Professor and Chair, Ann and H.J. Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences