‘Racially offensive' image placed on UT dean's office

AUSTIN - As part of an annual holiday decorating contest for McCombs School employees, the business school's dean said that a racially offensive image was placed on the front entrance of his suite on Dec. 1.

Jay Hartzell, the dean of the Department of Finance, sent a letter to the McCombs community that day. He said that within minutes of it being brought to his team's attention, the image was taken down. He did not say what the image was, specifically.

"I vehemently condemn the spirit, tone, and content of this image," part of his letter read. "The fact that this happened is a call to action."

The dean said that he will meet with student groups, staff and faculty to have conversations and from that, he said he "will respond with a plan of action" to foster a culture of "diversity, inclusion and respect."

"McCombs is a school and community where every student, faculty, and staff member should feel welcome and know they belong," his letter read. "This morning’s incident demonstrates that we are not there yet — but deepens my resolve to get there."

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