“I hear you, we have a problem,” said Pamela Saulsberry, Dean of Sociology Tuesday night as faculty and the public hosted a public forum on diversity night.
The diversity forum came in response to social media posts by two ULM instructors that were characterized as “racist.”
ULM’s new president Ewin Litoff called the forum to host an honest discussion by race and diversity.
Litoff, who admitted that he has only been president for less than a week, said he intends to insure that ULM is open and diverse. He said he will begin by hiring a new vice-president who will be a black woman. She will report on July 1st.
Litoff said he has lost sleep over the issue but wants to listen to faculty and the public to insure that black students feel welcome to come to ULM. He said the University is down by 625 students in its enrollment, and he needs everyone to feel welcome.
Saulsberry took the lead and announced what ULM’s leaders have decided.
She said the University will begin diversity training of both faculty and students, not in a one-time setting but in a continuous manner.
She said employees, included support staff, will be given an opportunity to post concerns anonymously on a special website.
“There is something wrong with racism, and that shouldn’t be a debate,” said professor Pam Saulsberry.
She said a university is a place for diverse opinions, but there is no place for racism.
“There is something wrong with racism. Enough is enough,” She said, “We are sick and tired of being sick and tired,” she said, quoting civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer.
“We realize we have a problem it’s not a problem we’re going to fix overnight, but we’re going to start,” said ULM’s interim president Litolff.
Tuesday’s forum came on the heels of two faculty members being terminated for making racist posts on social media.
“There is a gap right now between students, the community, and this university, and so I’m really hoping out of this, the gap will be bridged, and students will leave feeling assured their university is hearing them,” said SGA president Olivia Bailey.