Members of the Capital Family,
Thank you for allowing me to be part of the Capital University community and inviting me into the CapFam. And special thanks to the Capital students who welcomed me so graciously, allowing me to be part of the important discussions that are happening this week and letting me learn from you.
I know we have a lot of work to do – as a University, a community, and a society. We can all acknowledge that we’re not where we want or need to be.
In the town hall meeting with Capital students Wednesday afternoon, a student asked me about my personal beliefs related to the devastating death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the protests across the country. I want to share with you what I shared with them, because I am deeply troubled.
We cannot tolerate any hint of racism or social injustice. It is wrong.
I believe racism is a public health crisis and support the actions taken by the Board of Health.
As a member of CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, I have pledged to do four things:
- Create a trusted environment where people feel comfortable having difficult conversations about diversity and inclusion. This includes not tolerating any incongruence with our values of openness;
- Implement and expand unconscious bias education;
- Share best – and unsuccessful – diversity and inclusion practices to help all organizations evolve; and,
- Prioritize and drive organizational accountability around diversity and inclusion.
As interim president I will advocate for our students and use my platform to give their concerns and actions a stronger voice and impact.
Students, I want you to know that I am listening. In the Community Conversation Tuesday night, I learned that we need to take action on some critical items, which I will move forward, including:
- Hiring a new director of Diversity and Inclusion;
- Increasing diversity training for all employees – faculty, staff and administration;
- Talking with students about their experiences with racial injustices within the University;
- Improving our communication to students; and
- Creating a plan of action to address these issues.
I will be participating in this evening’s Alumni Community Conversation. I know our alumni bring another perspective, and I am anxious to hear that also.
I’m committed to listening to you, learning from you, and working with you to create change.
Interim President Dave Kaufman