Faculty, staff unite in a letter calling for the resignation of Cal Poly Humboldt President

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More than 320 faculty and staff have called for the resignation of Cal Poly Humboldt’s President Thomas Jackson and chief of staff Mark Johnson.

“This is a really unifying moment. 95% of the general faculty voted no confidence. We can’t get 95% of our faculty to agree that water is wet or kittens are cute, and so it’s amazing to see them unified in sharing this opinion that our leadership has failed us and it is time for new leadership,” CPH’s Wildlife Professor Dan Barton said.

They took issue with Dr. Jackson calling law enforcement before talking to protesters, saying say the hard closure of campus only  “intensified rather than de-escalated the situation.”

“In the past three different incidents since I’ve been here, the university responded by simply going and talking to the protesters. This time, for reason that are unclear to all of us, the university chose to respond with riot squad,” Barton said. “Everything that occurred afterward is outfall from that poor decision has led all of us to a real deep concern and lack of faith in leadership.”

Jackson’s leadership was already under fire before the protests.

“President Jackson has largely been absent and I think his inability to speak to key stakeholders has been a signature of his time here on campus.” CPH’s Critical Race and Gender Studies (GRGS) Professor Maxwell Schnurer said.

“He’s very rarely seen on campus. He doesn’t come to student concerts or presentation. Students have noticed. There’s been student journalism about his absence,” CPH’s Music Professor Cindy Moyer said.

Faculty and staff say Dr. Jackson should have considered the needs of the entire student body before closing the campus because of the protests.

“Can you think about what it would be like to be a college student in the residence hall and the absolute terror of having hundreds of police officers around you residence hall? You couldn’t get a pizza. You couldn’t do laundry,” Schnurer said. “The long-term damage to the university has been incalculable.”

After the April 30th arrests of protesters, the university sent out a letter to the community signed by Dr. Jackson and several of his administration.

The letter said, “We have much work in front of us to reset, rebuild, and heal.”

But faculty we spoke to doubt there can be healing with Dr. Jackson at the helm.

“I personally don’t see a way that the relationship is salvageable at some point. I think the damage is so great that no amount of counseling could fix and the only real solution is a divorce,” Moyer said.

Redwood News has reached out to Dr. Jackson’s office multiple times since the protests began on April 22nd.

There has not been a response to our requests for a comment or interview.