University of Memphis faculty, students alerted to ‘offensive’ email from ‘outside source’

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- There was some confusion on the University of Memphis campus Thursday, after the university's president sent out an email to all faculty and students.

Dr. David Rudd's email referenced an offensive email that dozens of people reportedly received earlier this month.

The university said that on Saturday, it became aware that an employee received an offensive email on November 5 from an "outside source."

The university learned that that same day, 162 other people received offensive emails to their university email accounts.

All the offensive emails were sent from the same address.

The emails might have ties to somewhere out of state.

"Some members of our community recently received an email from an outside source that was offensive and contrary to our university values and well-articulated policies," Rudd wrote.

"What's this about?" asked freshman Deja Powell.

No one WREG spoke with knew anything about what the reportedly offensive emails said.

"It doesn't tell us what it is," said freshman Michael Hollandsworth.

The president's email included links to a few school policies, including one that had to do with Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

The university handed off the email to University Police and the FBI for investigation.

The school said it was not hacked.

A spokesperson would not elaborate further about whether or not any demographic was targeted.

The university did however release a copy of the email that was sent out to students to WREG:

Dear Campus Community:

Some members of our community recently received an email from an outside source that was offensive and contrary to our university values and well-articulated policies. (see below)

UM1505 Workplace Violence Prevention http://umwa.memphis.edu/umpolicies/UM1505.htm

UM1381 Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action http://umwa.memphis.edu/umpolicies/UM1381.htm

UM 1718 Discrimination, Harassment – Complaint and Investigation Procedure http://umwa.memphis.edu/umpolicies/UM1718.htm

The email has been turned over to the University Police and to the FBI for investigation, as will all such communications. If you receive an electronic communication that you regard as offensive, threatening or suspicious, please forward it to abuse@memphis.edu. The University of Memphis is committed to providing a safe and productive environment for all members of our campus community.