Nov. 16, 2016

Dear CSCU Community:

Like many of you, I have been deeply troubled by the unrest across our nation and state as a result of last week’s elections.  I continue to look to our campus communities as a source of optimism and confidence.

At CSCU one of our greatest assets is the diversity of our students, faculty, staff and leadership. We are strengthened by the various races, ages, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, nationalities, physical abilities, and political perspectives that define our campus communities. We are all committed to creating the opportunity for lifelong learning and the pursuit of knowledge.  Our campuses thrive when people from different backgrounds, walks of life and perspectives have a forum for sharing their beliefs and ideas while learning together.   That is the real value of a higher education.

I want to personally reaffirm our commitment to social justice, diversity, inclusion and respect for one another. There are some on our campuses that are feeling vulnerable and scared about what lies ahead for themselves and their families.  I share their worries and will work with campus leaders, students and state officials to address any issues should they arise.

In the meantime, I encourage all of us to come together to support one another and to protect our learning environment. Just as we must stand up against behavior on our campuses that incites harm, we must also protect the open environment where opinions are expressed freely.

Together, I believe we can preserve our academic freedom and our commitment to respect each other as we face this next chapter in our nation’s history.

Mark E. Ojakian
Connecticut State Colleges and Universities