President's Newsletter, 1/23/2017

First, I would like to welcome all of you back for spring semester. It is hard to believe that another academic year is half over and commencement is less than four months away. Those will be busy months for all of us.

While we all are focused on our usual academic and social activities, there is no question that the election of, and transition of power to, a new presidential administration has created concerns in the minds of many in our campus community. That is especially true for our undocumented students who fear that changes in federal immigration policies may disrupt their lives and their opportunities for higher education.

None of us can predict the outcome of the discussions in Washington, D.C. However, I and other California higher education leaders have stated our intention to maintain supportive environments for all students.

Specifically, CSU Chancellor Timothy White has restated CSU policy that, unless contravened by California Government Code or required by law:

• The CSU will not enter into agreements with state or local law enforcement agencies, Homeland Security or any other federal department for the enforcement of federal immigration law;

• Our university police departments will not honor immigration hold requests; and

• Our university police will not contact, detain, question or arrest individuals solely on the basis of being – or suspected of being – a person who lacks documentation.

As a university built around the principles of educational excellence, access and outreach, CSUMB will maintain a community that protects the rights of all of our students. We pride ourselves on inclusion. Anything that diminishes one member of our community diminishes us all.

In that regard, CSUMB along with the CSU, will continue to work with our elected representatives, on both the state and federal levels, to focus on laws that affect student support, financial aid and the status of DACA students.

Campus Forums

Last semester, we held a campus post-election forum to discuss many of these issues. I was pleased both with the turnout and the thoughtfulness of the discussion. Two messages that stayed with me from that event were the need to support one another as we move forward together in the weeks and months ahead and the need to stay involved in the democratic process.

In following up on that forum, numerous offices around campus have been working to provide additional information to students in their areas. Our Office of Inclusive Excellence will be holding another campus forum from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 31 in the Student Center West Lounge. All students, faculty and staff are welcome.

My next Pizza with the President event will be held at the same site from noon to 1 p.m. on Feb. 8.

Stay Involved

In the months ahead, it is important for us all to remain involved both in the work we are doing on campus and in the political system to build a stronger democracy for all. Community service and engagement have long been cornerstones of CSUMB.

Helping to build a more civil and just society is absolutely vital work. The health of our democracy depends on the active, informed involvement of its members, especially when that engagement is difficult or controversial.

I welcome your comments on this newsletter, future subjects you would like to see addressed, or on any issues facing the university. You may direct them to president@csumb.edu