President Pescovitz, campus community respond to Russian assault on Ukraine


Photo courtesy of the NY Post

Russian troops began pushing into Ukraine this week.

Russia shocked the global stage this week with its military invasion in Ukraine. The campus community has responded to this humanitarian crises, offering words of support and perspective to students and the broader community.

President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz sent out the following statement to to the campus community Thursday afternoon:

Oakland University supports the U.S. government and the international community in condemning the brutal and unprovoked attack by Russia on the people and democratic republic of Ukraine.

At this troubling and dangerous moment, our hearts are with the people of Ukraine and the 40,000 people of Ukrainian descent in southeast Michigan, including Oakland University students, faculty and staff. 

In the upcoming days, the unjustified Russian invasion will likely lead to a humanitarian calamity. We stand resolute in our opposition to the senseless aggression and united in our support for the Ukrainian people.”

The campus community also received this communication from Chief Information Officer Bhavani Koneru warning against potential cyber attacks:

“In light of the current geopolitical situation between Russia and Ukraine, the U.S. government is advising the nation to be prepared for cyberattacks. Russia may launch these in hopes of creating enough domestic disruption to lower American resolve to oppose Russian military campaigns in Ukraine.

As a higher-education institution, Oakland University is a potential target for these kinds of disruptions.

The University Technology Services (UTS) Security Team is asking all students to vigilantly watch for and nullify cyber threats by carefully reviewing any suspicious emails to avoid succumbing to phishing attempts.

Students are also encouraged to ensure their devices have:

  • a current, vendor-supported operating system installed;
  • antivirus software installed and set to automatically update. (Many vendors such as Apple and Microsoft include this free of charge);
  • current versions of all installed programs and applications;
  • fully enabled security features; and

UTS will provide the campus community updates on this situation as they become available.

As always, the university appreciates the cooperation and understanding of campus community members as it works to protect the security and functionality of its data networks.”

In a Letter to the editor published yesterday in The Post, Assistant Professor of Biology and native Ukrainian Taras Oleksyk had this to say:

Ukrainian people are taking up arms, standing alone on the front line, to defend the values of Western civilization. They are ready, but they did not invite this conflict. Are the people in the US prepared to watch them die for the truths Americans hold to be self-evident?

This is not a local issue that involves a border dispute between two countries far, far away in Eastern Europe. If Russia succeeds on its destructive path, there are global ramifications that will extend to everyone living today and to those in many generations to come. In the immediate future, the failure to stop this unprovoked war will clearly demonstrate that military power needs no justification. This will change the rules of global security and will lead to further escalation of conflicts elsewhere in the world.”