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Faculty letter asks for Connecticut College president to be under scrutiny

Connecticut College
Beyond My Ken
Wikimedia Commons
Connecticut College

A letter from 120 faculty at Connecticut College to the school’s Board of Trustees has added to calls for their president to resign or be removed.

The letter is in reaction to the board’s letter to the school, canceling a college fundraiser at a Florida club faced with allegations of racism and antisemitism, and the subsequent resignation of the school’s chief diversity officer, Rodmon King.

“I think this is a very important lesson in how important language is. And what is said and what isn’t said and what is between the lines,” said Catja Christensen, an editor at the student newspaper, The College Voice. “What we’re hoping from the board is a clear answer on where they stand and depending on what they say we will respond as well, especially with the faculty letter and the student reporting and student protests. We’ve made our perspective very clear. And have had a lot more open communication.

“I think we’re just hoping for the same thing from the Board of Trustees and also President Bergeron,” Christensen said.

The faculty letter asks the Board of Trustees to start an immediate search for the next president.

The letter also urges for an open forum for dialogue with the board at their upcoming meeting on campus this Friday, Feb. 24.

A college spokesperson said they had no comment, “except to reiterate that the Board of Trustees takes the issues raised by former Dean King seriously and is looking into them and is committed to working collectively with the entire Conn. community to advance the college's goals and values.”

Still, Sam Maidenberg, an editor at The College Voice, said this letter from the faculty is extraordinary.

“It’s super strongly worded and I think it speaks to the kind of rhetoric that is really going on on this campus you know, since faculty are the ones that sent this out, faculty are the ones that are leading the classes that we’re attending everyday that is really emblematic of all the kinds of discussions we’re having in class between students and faculty,” Maidenberg said. “So I think that the students were really proud of the faculty for standing up in such a strong way.”

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.