Editor’s Note: Tweets from author and Fresno State professor Randa Jarrar are triggering national outrage. Some people are saying they will no longer support the university. Here is Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro’s response:

I know that many of our friends are upset, and I’m upset, too. I’m upset by what I saw, and what I heard that night.

Again, that does not exemplify what we do here at Fresno State in preparing the next generation of leaders, and I think it’s very important for us to condemn that part of what was done and said. And at the same time, as we uphold our First Amendment rights that all of us enjoy, the most important thing, I believe, is for us to continue to role model leadership here on this campus, and we are working hard every single day to educate our students to be successful, to be leaders, and we’re doing that better than ever because the community has been supportive of us, and I ask them to continue that support and to trust that we’ll make the appropriate determination.

Joseph I. Castro

Fresno State President

A single set of tweets does not define the success of our university. We’re bigger and stronger and more dynamic than ever, and I ask the community to continue their support for our university and our best days are certainly ahead.

At Fresno State, we’re absolutely committed to the freedom of speech for each and every one of us. The concern that I had about those tweets was related to the timing and the fact that it lacked any compassion or respect, and what we’ve been trying to focus on here at Fresno State, is the idea of having a civic … a civil and respectful dialogue, even when we disagree, and I have a deep concern with people who are not following those kinds of principles here at Fresno State and not modeling leadership for our students.

I’m Listening to Your Concerns

Ever since I’ve been president of Fresno State, I’ve really emphasized the listening part of my job, and I’m especially listening right now to the concerns that everybody has across the board, and so I promise that I’ll continue to do that, and I promise that we will follow our appropriate policies and laws and make the best determination possible — just as we do with all big decisions at the university, and I want to welcome additional input.

A single set of tweets does not define the success of our university. We’re bigger and stronger and more dynamic than ever, and I ask the community to continue their support for our university and our best days are certainly ahead.

If our community wants to share more of their concerns, I’m happy to listen to those and to read about them. There are different ways to do that, and I think it’s important as a public university that we do that — that we offer that opportunity and that we take into consideration the different views that people have on topics of importance.

I Understand Why People Are Upset

I’d ask the community to look at the university as a whole, and, yes, I understand why many of us are so upset. I’m upset as well, but I don’t think the appropriate action is to do harm to our students. They deserve our support. They’re part of the bright future of the Valley, so I ask our community to trust that we will do the right thing and that our university will get stronger and stronger in the days and months and years to come with their support. It’s about the university and the community coming together as one.

We received 26,000 applications this year for a class of 5,000 students. Demand is higher than ever before and that’s because of the quality work of our faculty and staff.

My message to the students and families is I strongly encourage them to continue their plan to come. We received 26,000 applications this year for a class of 5,000 students. Demand is higher than ever before and that’s because of the quality work of our faculty and staff, and, again, I wouldn’t judge these tweets from one professor as determining the success of our university.

President Castro President Joseph I. Castro shares his thoughts on the importance of free speech, civil discourse and community support for the University's mission in educating the next generation of Valley and state leaders. Posted by Fresno State on Thursday, April 19, 2018

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4 Responses

  1. Nancy Flynn

    Dr. Castro, As an educator and graduate of Fresno State with two degrees and a teaching credential, my concern is for the students in this professor’s classroom. I hope part of the inquiry will include talking to her students to ascertain whether or not they felt intimidated or uncomfortable with her strong political views that most certainly surfaced during instruction. Where they able to express opposing views/thoughts/information in her classroom? Did any of them begin and then abandon the process of requesting intervention from the administration? Was the same liberal hateful ‘free speech’ being spewed in the classroom? Think of how a student coming from a more conservative background might have felt about speaking up out of fear of giving the wrong answer. The professor is alive and well and emboldened and will continue on with her tenure. What is going to be done for those students in her classes who felt conflicted and confused in silence?

    Reply
  2. Terri Adishian

    Did you see Dr Castro’s WEAK response? Where is your passion, Dr Joseph Castro? You should be livid your university is in the national news with this toxic story. You don’t seem too upset about the incident, it’s like you want to sleep through it. Fresno wants to hear a Bulldog president (Bulldog,as in tough and a tenacious fighter) growl “I am mad as hell, and I will get to the bottom of this to make sure this NEVER happens again at our outstanding university!”

    After seeing several videos and articles regarding the professor, I would shudder to think that my children or grandchildren would be in her class. She does not appear to be a positive role model. This has NOTHING to do with freedom of speech. She can say whatever she wants, that’s ok. But, this is a woman influencing our young adults. Let her go to spread her message at appropriate places, not at CSUF! There is nothing positive about her message.

    You say you want to develop leaders at CSUF, well you can start with positive role models as professors! There are some amazing professors at CSUF, but this professor creates a dark cloud over all of them. Clean house! Hire faculty that will truly develop strong leaders that can make a positive difference, faculty that will make CSUF and Fresno proud! Get tough! Be a Bulldog!! #gobulldogs #GrowlLikeaBulldog #grrrrrrr https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhclEjUdvsc

    Reply
  3. Mike

    It isn’t just about these latest comments, it’s about her despicably foul mouth, calls for violence, extreme hatred for those with whom she disagrees, & deeply disturbing example she’s left for students by claiming she can never be fired despite her blatantly evil behavior as America is watching more an more every day at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvNrIhD5Ulg

    Reply

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