In response to today’s open letter from the Eureka chapter of the NAACP, the Humboldt State University press office sent along the following statement from university President Lisa Rossbacher:

I was astonished that the Eureka NAACP chapter would suggest that HSU could or should stop recruiting students of color. HSU is deeply committed to diversity and equity, and that would be a giant step backward for the values and mission of this University. I know this group is committed to the ideals of the NAACP, and it must have been difficult for them to endorse this idea. It clarifies for me the depth of their concern.

I disagree with many of the statements in the letter, but I do agree with the larger point that HSU and the North Coast need to do more. Our country struggles with a history of racism and racial inequality on the national and local levels. We must find ways, and work together, to create a brighter future for all our students.

Furthermore, the press office adds:

For reference, the following is from the website of the NAACP
The NAACP works to ensure that all disadvantaged students and students of color are on the path to college or a successful career by ensuring access to great teaching, equitable resources, and a challenging curriculum. We are dedicated to eliminating the severe racial inequities that continue to plague our education system. Our ultimate goal is that every student of color receives a quality public education that prepares him or her to be a contributing member of a democracy.

For reference, the following is from the Humboldt State University Values

We believe in the dignity of all individuals, in fair and equitable treatment, and in equal opportunity. We value the richness and interplay of differences. We value the inclusiveness of diversity, and we respect alternative paradigms of thought.