A Message from the Executive Vice President,
Provost and Dean, John Sealy School of Medicine

Charles P. Mouton, MD, MS

June 2, 2020

The UTMB administration would like to reaffirm its support to our diversity efforts and to our communities of color.  UTMB has consistently been a beacon of inclusiveness in the education of health professionals.  We have a storied history as the first medical school in Texas to offer admission to a student of African-American descent and the first to offer admission to a student of Hispanic descent.  Given this legacy, UTMB stands with all our students in voicing our shock, outrage, and sadness at the recent racially motivated deaths that have occurred across the U.S.

As an institution whose students, staff, and faculty have long fought the battle for equality, we recognize the truth in Dr. King’s statement, “No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”  We stand in support of all persons’ right to pursue the dream of a health professions education while living out the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is this “pursuit of happiness” that is emblazed in our hearts and causes the “embers of probity and moral rectitude” to burn within each of us.  These “embers” certainly burn in the hearts of the protestors.

This latest crisis falls on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic.  While we are completing the task of finding a cure for this disease, we are reminded of the words of Mother Teresa, who said, “The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love.”  It is this love for our fellow human beings that was forgotten by those individuals who perpetrated the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.  And it is our duty as members of the UTMB family to find the righteousness in our hearts to provide the nurturing and support to our students, to provide the scientific breakthroughs for community, and to provide the best quality care for all our patients.

As we move beyond this moment, we want to keep in mind some words of wisdom.  One is a quote from Zig Ziglar, who said, “The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you think you can only do a little.”  We can and must continue to speak out against injustice and bias in all its forms.  Second, we can act according to the words of Nelson Mandela, who said, “The more informed you are, the less arrogant and aggressive you are.”  We can work to inform our communities about untoward cost of racism, implicit bias, inequality, and classism, and work toward a world where all human life is valued and protected.  It is the highest calling of the health professional to see one in need and render care.  And to our students and colleagues of color, remember the quote of Dr. Charles Drew, “Excellence of performance will transcend artificial barriers of men.”  We must care deeply and engage proximately to make a difference in the lives of others.

Sincerely yours,

Charles P. Mouton, MD, MS, MBA
Executive Vice President, Provost and Dean, John Sealy School of Medicine
Thomas N. and Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair