Message from the Chancellor
June 1, 2020
Dear College Community –
Like you, I am experiencing a range of conflicting emotions and feelings as I reflect on the events of the past week. All of us are disheartened, angered, and saddened that unjust actions and treatment continue to happen in our nation.
So many of us in this country, in California, and at our college are struggling with these feelings, realities, and challenges. The tragic and senseless death of George Floyd, as well as many similar situations this year, have focused our attention and shed a light on the senseless killing, pain and suffering that many people of color have been subjected to for far too long.
While we are experiencing despair, discouragement, frustration, and anger, it is critical to recognize that our shared commitment to social justice and creating access to higher education can and must result in real opportunities, gains, and equity for our students. The important thing to remember is that we control our destiny, and as such, can work together to shape our futures and address the underlying issues in our society.
What we have seen motivates us individuals and as a college to action. As an institution of higher education whose mission to create opportunity for all is grounded in the principles of equality and inclusion, we must come together with others to work to better serve our community. We have a chance to stand up, to speak up, and to advocate on behalf of the change that is needed to stop injustice and tragedy.
From every corner on our campuses, our opportunity to foster a culture of inclusivity has never mattered more. Engagement, access to opportunity, and equity are pivotal to ensure our students can lead a world that is better than the one in which we find ourselves. We must ensure that our actions are inclusive, that all voices are heard, and that those who have been traditionally disenfranchised and marginalized by our structures, are welcomed, included, supported, respected and empowered to achieve their full potential.
I am confident in our ability as educators and people committed to civility and compassion, that we not only will find a way forward, but also help our community to create it by relying on our collective strength that is reflected in the diversity of our faculty, our staff, our administrators, and our students.
While that work is already under way through multiple initiatives, we have much more we can do. And we will. I look forward to our college engaging in honest and ongoing dialog with all stakeholders about potential solutions, as well as building on current efforts to enhance student access, equity and inclusivity.
These are challenging times, no doubt. Yet I believe good things can and will come if we have the courage to pursue them.
Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook
Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook