Statement on racism from MnSCU presidents and chancellor

Dear students, faculty and staff,

Recent events on campuses across the country remind us of the ugliness of racism and intolerance and its painful impact on the lives of our students, faculty, and staff. Because we are not immune to racism here in Minnesota, today we stand together – as leaders of Minnesota’s state colleges and universities – to condemn racism and intolerance and reaffirm our commitment to our core value: our colleges and universities are places of hope and opportunity where everyone can create a better future for themselves, for their families, and for their communities. And when we say everyone, we really do mean everyone.

The challenge for our nation and for our colleges and universities is how we, as a community, turn our core value into action and how we make absolutely certain that, on our campuses, hope defeats hate so that all Minnesotans fulfill their dreams for a better future.

We cannot deny the existence of racism and intolerance or pretend we do not hear racist and hateful language. And we cannot stand indifferent in the face of this historical challenge to eliminate racism and intolerance in our communities. Although we have taken deliberate steps to better understand the subtle and not so subtle ways that racism is practiced and experienced so our campuses can be more diverse and welcoming and so all students can succeed, there is much more work to be done.

When it comes to racism and intolerance, the way forward begins with a willingness to engage with each other with empathy and concern in what are sometimes difficult conversations. But, talking is not enough. We must listen – truly listen – to each other in a sincere effort to better understand our different perspectives and experiences. We must learn to build bridges across these differences. And, we absolutely must stand against racism and intolerance and work together with an abiding commitment to deliver solutions.

We must use the events of the past few weeks to rededicate ourselves to listening better than ever before; acting with a greater sense of urgency than ever before; and working together better than ever before in a spirit of trust and generosity.

– Steven Rosenstone, Chancellor
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

– Laura Urban, President
Alexandria Technical and Community College

– Kent Hanson, President
Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Anoka Technical College

– Richard Hanson, President
Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College

– Larry Lundblad, President
Central Lakes College

– Pat Opatz, Interim President
Century College

– Tim Wynes, President
Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College

– Larry Anderson, President
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College

– Merrill Irving, Jr., President
Hennepin Technical College

– Patrick Johns, President
Lake Superior College

– Devinder Malhotra, Interim President
Metropolitan State University

– Avelino Mills-Novoa, Interim President
Minneapolis Community and Technical College

– Dorothy Duran, President
Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical

– Peggy Kennedy, President
Minnesota State Community and Technical College

– Richard Davenport, President
Minnesota State University, Mankato

– Anne Blackhurst, President
Minnesota State University Moorhead

– Terry Gaalswyk, President
Minnesota West Community and Technical College

– Joyce Ester, President
Normandale Community College

– Bill Maki, President
Northeast Higher Education District

– Barbara McDonald, President
North Hennepin Community College

– Dennis Bona, President
Northland Community and Technical College

– Joe Mulford, President
Pine Technical and Community College

– Douglas Allen, President
Ridgewater College

– Adenuga Atewologun, President
Riverland Community College

– Leslie McClellon, President
Rochester Community and Technical College

– Rassoul Dastmozd, President
Saint Paul College

– Joyce Helens, President
St. Cloud Technical and Community College

– Earl Potter, President
St. Cloud State University

– Annette Parker, President
South Central College

– Connie Gores, President
Southwest Minnesota State University

– Scott Olson, President
Winona State University