Update on Recent Events on Campus

November 9, 2023

Dear Cranbrook Educational Community, 

I write to share information and, with heartfelt compassion, to acknowledge the pain felt by so many in our community, particularly as we witness the human tragedy and loss suffered in the Middle East and how it has contributed to events on our campus.  

On Saturday, November 4, we discovered – in several commonly shared non-residential educational spaces of the Cranbrook Academy of Art – displays of flags representing Palestine along the main thoroughfare of the campus. Given the collective size, scope, and positioning, based on our policies these displays were removed from the common spaces.

Institutionally, Cranbrook does not take a position on political causes, conflicts, or events, and it was our concern that these displays risked being interpreted as statements by Cranbrook. Our long-standing practice has been to keep our campus’ common areas free of political messaging or activities. We now understand that our timing and communication created confusion and undermined trust with members of our community.

We are a pluralistic and unique community, one that values and welcomes diverse audiences, children, and adult students, as well as residential faculty, staff, and their families - with a myriad of national, religious, and personal affiliations. 

At the same time, as an educational community, Cranbrook is committed to providing opportunities for our scholars and artists as they grapple with the challenges of our world through their work. In alignment with our academic goals, respectful discussion, which can sometimes be elusive, is imperative, but going forward, we at Cranbrook are committed to an ongoing dialog.

As such, we have started engaging the many voices that comprise our community, including the voices that disagree with our recent decision or how it was implemented. We will listen and learn how we can best move forward as a stronger community. 

In an immensely complicated and fraught world, our intent has always been that Cranbrook be a space where all members of our community can thrive. This is true now more than ever and we will work tirelessly towards this end.


Aimeclaire Roche, President
Cranbrook Educational Community