February 8, 2023
Dear Members of the Connecticut College Community,
I am writing to follow up on the news that I shared yesterday on the resignation of Dean Rodmon King. I know that the news has caused a measure of shock, anger, and grief in our community. I want to express again my sorrow at his sudden departure, which represents a real loss to our community and to the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Conn. Our commitment to that work remains fundamental to who we are as a College, and my colleagues in the administration and I will do everything we can to support staff in DIEI and colleagues across campus in order to pursue our mission of diversity, equity, and full participation with even greater energy and purpose.
Full participation is a core value at Conn, which is why I regret our decision to schedule an event at a location whose history and reputation suggest otherwise. We made that decision believing that our values were clear. But the decision to proceed came across differently, and we recognize now that we were wrong. I want to apologize to all who saw our plans as contrary to Conn’s values or to the inclusive institution we aspire to be. We canceled the event. In the future, we will do better, including by taking steps to ensure that all our decisions are consistent with our goals and ideals.
I recognize that it will take time to absorb the impact of Dean King’s resignation and to recenter and enhance our work on equity and inclusion, as we must. For that reason, we want to make space available for community conversation today. As I wrote yesterday, I am holding open hours tomorrow and Friday for anyone who would like to speak with me about these developments. Other members of the senior administration are doing the same. We are postponing a forum on the Five Year Financial Plan, which had been scheduled for faculty and staff this afternoon at 4:15 p.m. Instead, the following people will be holding time for students, faculty, and staff to meet and share their views and concerns:
- Dean of Students Victor Arcelus invites students and staff to meet in person today, in Crozier-Williams 218, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Please call ext. 2832 to request a time slot.
- Dean of the Faculty Danielle Egan invites faculty to join her for an open Zoom meeting today from 4:15-5:15 p.m. Use this link to join.
- Dean of the College Erika Smith invites students to meet with her today from 3:30-5:15 p.m. Please use this link to schedule a specific time for either a Zoom or an in-person meeting in Fanning 206.
- Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Development Reginald White and Ombudsperson Amy Sereday invite staff to join them for an open Zoom forum today from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Please use this link to join. They are also available to meet with staff one-on-one. For Reginald White, please call 203-615-4314. For Amy Sereday, please call ext. 2040.
We look forward to these conversations and share a determination to listen and to learn.