As the result of an academic matter, Valparaiso University removed Jubril Adekoya from basketball competition consistent with our requirements as an NCAA member institution. The University and the NCAA collaboratively conducted a review related to this matter. At the conclusion of the review, the University proposed suspension for half of the season; however, the NCAA decided Jubril was ineligible to play in any regular or post-season games.

Valpo appealed this decision through several avenues. The appeals were unsuccessful, and we are bound by the NCAA decision.

The “BIG Dream Gathering” is coming to Valparaiso University on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m.

These events provide a fun, safe and encouraging environment for people to think about their big dreams and ideas, write them down and then get help to make those dreams a reality.

“Some people come knowing exactly what their goals are, but most people come to figure that out,” said co-founder, Mitch Matthews.

“I was a stranger and you invited me in.” — Matthew 25:35

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Valparaiso University is constituted by people of different backgrounds and beliefs in dialogue with one another in the common pursuit of Truth. Those of us who have chosen to link our destinies with this place — whether faculty, students, alumni, staff, or friends — value, respect, invite, and welcome a wide array of opinions, beliefs, and cultural practices. This, we believe, is fundamental to our truth-seeking enterprise. Therefore, we are called to dialogue across our differences — even when those differences may be irreconcilable.

As an institution of faith and higher learning rooted in the Christian intellectual tradition, we take Jesus’ words from Matthew 25 to heart when he says, “I was a stranger and you invited me in … Truly I tell you, whatever you do for the least of these brothers and sisters, you do for me.” Similarly, the Quran encourages adherents of Islam to “do good — to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet).” — Q:4:36

Valparaiso University rejects messages and actions rooted in prejudice, racism, xenophobia, and religious intolerance. Our dear friends and colleagues — the international students, faculty members, staff members, and members of our local communities — are our sisters and our brothers and those neighbors who are near and those neighbors who are strangers. All of these members of our community, and our Muslim students and faculty members in particular, are an integral and necessary part of our truth-seeking journey. They are Valpo. And because they are Valpo, they dedicate their time, leadership, and service for the sake of the world. Whenever any member of this community falls victim to hateful actions and speech it is our moral duty, to speak out against intolerance and injustice and to demand change.

On Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, the President of the United States signed an executive order that suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days. The order blocks entry to the U.S., for at least 90 days, for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. It targets Muslim-majority nations. The order also suspends the issuance of visas and other immigration benefits to nationals from these countries. It is unclear whether this list of nations will be expanded in the future or even if the executive order is legal. Over the weekend we saw people, bearing legal documents like green cards and valid visas, barred entry to the U.S. and held for extended periods of questioning even if they had legal documentation with them. To the best of our knowledge, all of Valpo’s current faculty and students from the affected countries are accounted for and safe.  More specific information and advice will be provided to all international students by the Provost’s office, and an information session is being planned for early this week.

As we navigate these difficult and polarizing times, where truth-seeking and truth-telling becomes ever more precious, I implore you to remember what we are called to do together in this place as members of the Valpo community. I encourage you to be in dialogue with one another with humility, care and respect. I remind you of the life and example of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his transformative national movement for peace, justice, and equality through non-violence. Finally, I share with you the statements adopted unanimously by Valparaiso University’s faculty and student senates that repudiate anti-Muslim rhetoric and sentiments. May we use this moment in our nation’s history to reaffirm our values as a community committed to freedom, faith, inclusion, and dialogue. And may we continue to cherish our diversity — using our words and actions to model for others what it could look like to live in a community where love abounds and where mutual dialogue and understanding flourish.

Thank you for all you do to make our community a beacon of light and a source of hope in this troubled world.


Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D.
Valparaiso University

WHO:  Valparaiso University and the Special Olympics of Indiana come together for the 2017 Polar Plunge, an event raising awareness and funds to sponsor the Special Olympics throughout the state. This is the seventh year the University will host the event.

WHAT: The Polar Plunge invites participants who have raised $75 or more to jump into a pool of freezing water. Participants are encouraged to dress up in costumes, and prizes will be given to those who have the best costume, the largest team and those who raised the most money for Special Olympics Indiana. The event is open to the public and free to watch.

Valparaiso University’s Professional Educators Partnership (PEP) and the education department announce its 2017 conference, “Subject Matters, Powerful Content Area Reading,” featuring internationally renowned literacy expert and author Harvey “Smokey” Daniels.

Daniels’ keynote presentation will be based on his book “Subjects Matter, Exceeding Standards through Powerful Content Reading.” Attendees will learn how to ensure their students understand, remember, and apply the content they read in social studies, science, math, foreign language, and language arts. Presentations will focus on engaging and interactive instructional, research-based best practices that lead to students’ deeper comprehension of more complex text.

In fall 2016, Valparaiso University’s new student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery-Women (ACM-W) was awarded a $3,000 start-up seed fund by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) to help launch its chapter. Valpo is one of nine schools that received a NCWIT Student Seed Start-up Funding Award.

Founded with the assistance of Karl Schmitt, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, and Nicholas Rosasco, assistant professor of computing and information sciences, the ACM-W executive board has five members: Dylan Snyder ’18, president; Kimberly Orr ’19, vice president; Christi Florence Calina, graduate vice president; Charles Morris ’17, secretary; and Chinedu Emeka ’17, treasurer.

Valparaiso University announces Karen Allen, RN, Ph.D., FAAN, will join its faculty as dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, effective July 3, 2017. Most recently, Allen has served as professor of nursing at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich.

In her role as dean, Allen will be responsible for the strategic leadership, coordination and guidance of the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Allen brings an accomplished record as an expert in substance abuse and addictions treatment.

“All of us at Valpo are so pleased that Dr. Allen will be joining us in her new role as dean of the College of Nursing and Health professions,” said Mark L. Biermann, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “We are excited by the strengths that she brings with her and her clear commitment to nursing and health professions education.”

Christ College, the Honors College of Valparaiso University, in collaboration with the English and theatre departments, sponsors Valparaiso University’s fourth annual Shakespeare Week, featuring a weeklong residency by Actors From The London Stage.

This longstanding group of classically trained actors will visit Valpo Feb. 14–18 on its 2017 Spring Tour for a series of classroom visits, workshops, text readings, on-stage demonstrations, and Shakespeare-oriented events. The week concludes with three performances of “Romeo and Juliet.”

Valparaiso University’s Institute for Leadership and Service announces its spring 2017 Pathways to Purpose speaker series, featuring speakers and topics focusing on professional development.

The speaker series invites to campus field experts and service-based leaders who respond to the deepest challenges of our time and help to inspire students to pursue purposeful work. All events will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Valpo’s Helge Center, adjacent to the Chapel.

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