St. Cloud president's response to unrest over admin firing

Just got a copy of what appears to be (part of?) St. Cloud State President Earl Potter's e-mailed reaction -- he's apparently away on a foreign trip -- to the campus unrest over the firing of its associate VP for enrollment management, Mahmoud Saffari:

From: President's Office

Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 11:39 AM

To: FacultyStaffAll; Student Gov. Assn. - President; Students List

Subject: campus community concern

I write today to address issues that are causing concern for some in our campus community. These issues and related activities come at a time of unprecedented changes in our resources, our organization and our community that have heightened anxieties for us all.

In recent days, some members of the Faculty and Staff of Color Caucus and some of our students have objected to a personnel action taken by the University with public demonstrations and speak outs. In addition, last Thursday the Student Government Association, responding to demands brought to them by a group of faculty and students, passed a resolution asking that I meet with them (to which I have agreed) to discuss the issues surrounding this personnel action.

Stringent privacy laws prevent the University from disclosing or commenting on private personnel information relating to employment with the University. Confidentiality in these matters is intended to protect all employees, and we are steadfast in our efforts to abide by this requirement.

I have concerns about the effects of these events on all of our students who have found themselves drawn into an issue that privacy laws prevent us from helping them fully understand. As we go about our work of fulfilling our mission, we must be a University where conversations and open dialogue are essential elements of the culture. We will continue to work to this end. Likewise, we must maintain our commitment to our long‐standing goal of maintaining a campus that is safe for all who seek and provide an education.

Our goal is to create at St. Cloud State University an inclusive and welcoming community for all students, faculty and staff. Enrolling and retaining students of color is a top priority, and we are committed to employing a diverse workforce and increasing diversity among faculty and staff as well. I want to remind students, faculty and staff that St. Cloud State has nondiscrimination policies and procedures in place that may be utilized by anyone who feels they have been subject to discrimination.

As we reaffirm our commitment to creating that welcoming, inclusive community, I encourage us all to engage in dialogue that will serve to help us emerge stronger and more productive.

I've got a call in to St. Cloud State to get their copy and compare.

(Update: This letter is indeed legit, but comes after the original response by Potter to faculty and student complaints.)

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