President's Office

The Killing of George Floyd: Systemic Racism, Continued Inequality and Social Justice

June 2, 2020

To the Campus Community,

In the midst of tremendous pain being experienced by so many, we all have a role to play in combating systemic racism. Earlier today, a peaceful protest took place on campus and the surrounding neighborhood, showing the determination of the Northridge community to participate in change.

I shared in a message last Friday on the senseless killing of George Floyd, that we, at CSUN, will continue to uphold and work to advance the values of diversity and inclusion so that all people are treated with respect and dignity. California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White issued a call for unity and understanding, reaffirming the values of the CSU that speak to the central role everyone in the CSU plays in holding our communities, our state and our nation together.

As Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young wrote Sunday: “Working together toward a community that is fair and just is an absolute necessity. We can no longer tolerate our acceptance of the unjust relationship between us.”

This week, CSUN’s Associated Students has scheduled a week of virtual conversations with CSUN leaders around the role of CSUN Police, support for CSUN’s Dreamers and other undocumented students, the disparate health impacts of COVID-19, the impact of proposed reductions in state funding on academic programs and other essential topics of importance to students. You can learn more about these conversations through Associated Students’ social media channels, including InstagramFacebook and Twitter. I applaud our student leaders for their resilience and earnest pursuit of justice and equity.

This Friday, we are holding a virtual conversation with CSUN’s Associated Students leadership, Senate Executive Committee faculty leadership, all administrators, and the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion to exchange perspectives and experiences with the current crises, examine ways we as a campus can meet this moment in our nation’s history and model our values to affect positive change. It is our hope that this conversation will lead to dialogue in individual departments and units across the campus.

Universities like CSUN are among the most powerful forces for equality and justice in our society, but as important as our mission is, we must do more. Complacency is not an option. As campus leaders, we are committed to redoubling our effort to ensure that all members of our campus are supported and feel welcome. But more than that, we are united in working to create the change we need beyond our campus in order to eradicate injustice and racism, and put an end to the violence perpetrated against African Americans. CSUN’s leadership is united in this cause.  

Be safe, and be well.


Dianne F. Harrison

Natalie Mason-Kinsey
Chief Diversity Officer

Gregory Murphy
Chief of Police

Mary Beth Walker
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

William Watkins
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Colin Donahue
Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Robert Gunsalus
Vice President for University Relations and Advancement and President of the CSUN Foundation

Ranjit Philip
Interim Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

Rick Evans
Executive Director of The University Corporation

Jill Smith
Chief of Staff