To the Editor:
I would like to thank the 79 alumni who signed an open letter to the College’s students, staff, faculty and administration, published on the Signal’s website, expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement and pressing their alma mater to do more. I am grateful for their advocacy and want them to know that The College of New Jersey hears them and is steadfast in its resolve to do the work necessary to make our campus and communities inclusive and equitable. In making this commitment, I recognize that these words must be backed by action. I fully expect that we will hold each other accountable for bringing about the change that we seek.
In their letter, the authors expressed disappointment in my June 1 message to the campus on the death of George Floyd, which was co-signed by Vice President for Equity and Inclusion James Felton. They note its lack of mention of college initiatives — a level of detail I have given to COVID-19 and budget matters in what have been weekly campus missives. I appreciate their desire to have heard more from the College about the specific actions it is taking. This is actually something we considered when drafting our message but ultimately decided it wasn’t the appropriate moment. Instead, I made it the focus of my June 5 missive. I invite the authors and all others interested in the college’s work on issues of equity and inclusion to read it. It is posted publicly on my website.
Again, I thank these alumni for speaking up. I welcome their continued feedback and engagement as we do this difficult but essential work.
Kathryn A. Foster