Last week, in a campus committee meeting of faculty, staff, and students on the subject of gender equity, Lyndsay Maas, vice president of Business Services, used a derogatory racial term (the “N” word) in a conversation about racist activity on our campus. Her use of this word was to describe how some students use this word on campus.
I want to make it absolutely clear that use of derogatory, racist language is absolutely unacceptable and contrary to Santa Barbara City College’s mission, vision, and core values. It has no place on our campus. That word should never, ever be used, regardless of the reason or context. Therefore, this employee was placed on unpaid administrative leave, beginning Monday morning, November 19, 2018. She has apologized for use of this word and the pain it has caused. At her request, I am sharing her letter of apology, linked to this letter posted here.
Santa Barbara City College is not unaffected by the history and power dynamics that support racism and other forms of discrimination. As an institution of learning, we must hold ourselves and each other accountable and commit to the necessary work to address and root out racism and inequity on our campus. Racism and inequality are painful aspects of our history and remain in our environment. We must change that. As difficult as this work may be, it must continue. The work requires all of us, and I welcome all voices, from throughout campus, to be part of making this institutional change.
Anthony E. Beebe, PhD, EdD is superintendent/president of SBCC.