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U of I president, chancellors condemn Hamas attack and say troubled students, faculty and staff can get help

Tim  Killeen,  president of the University of Illinois
L. Brian Stauffer
University of Illinois
Tim Killeen, president of the University of Illinois

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen condemned the violence in Israel and Gaza and said support is available to students, faculty and staff in an email Wednesday,

“The unspeakable brutality of the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians is simply horrifying,’’ he wrote. “Such acts can never be justified and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.”

The message, which included all the campus chancellors in the system, said members of the U of I community who are suffering because of the conflict are the university’s first priority, but also offered words to acknowledge the pain of Israelis and Palestinians.

“We are gravely concerned for Israelis and Palestinians who have been and may now be in harm’s way. Though we may be located half a world away geographically, many of you will be carrying heavy burdens in the days to come.”

Killeen continued, “We can decide as a community that we will support and care for one another, and we can recommit to our deeply held belief that the multicultural communities that compose our universities are our greatest strength.”

He noted that student support is available through the Counseling Center at the U of I Springfield and the Student Assistance Centers at the other two U of I campuses. Help for staff is offered through Employee Assistance programs.

Maureen Foertsch McKinney is news editor and equity and justice beat reporter for NPR Illinois, where she has been on the staff since 2014 after Illinois Issues magazine’s merger with the station. She joined the magazine’s staff in 1998 as projects editor and became managing editor in 2003. Prior to coming to the University of Illinois Springfield, she was an education reporter and copy editor at three local newspapers, including the suburban Chicago Daily Herald, She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in English from UIS.
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