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Lehman College: City University of New York
November 10, 2016

A Message from Lehman College President José Luis Cruz
A Post-Election Call-To-Action

Dear colleagues,

As I reflect on the presidential election and its potential impact upon our College community, I feel the need to remind us of the immense responsibility we have at Lehman to carry forward our mission, to translate our values into action, and to do so with the sense of urgency and purpose that the times require.

My call to action is simple and straightforward.

First, let’s educate ourselves about the conditions that drove the outcome of the election and the implications it has for our future.

Second, let’s engage in thoughtful discussion and civil debate about how to best understand and navigate the landscape we face and to lead the way for others looking to expand opportunity, embrace diversity, and foster inclusion.

Third, let’s empower ourselves and redouble our efforts to eradicate the educational, health, and socioeconomic inequities that persist to this day in the Bronx, the City and the region we serve.

Doing so is the best way to live our college’s values statement; a statement that calls upon us to provide “the highest quality education in a caring and supportive environment where respect, integrity, inquiry, creativity and diversity contribute to individual achievement and the transformation of lives and communities.”

Doing so, with confidence, is also the best way to build upon the legacy of our namesake, Herbert H. Lehman, who dedicated his life to better serving the underserved and to carry forward the long-established mission of Lehman College of The City University of New York. Although we do not yet know what the future will bring, our historic mission and values have not changed since Tuesday.

There is much to reflect upon. To this end, I have asked provost Fayne and vice president Magdaleno to work with faculty and staff on a series of formal and informal events, from “talk circles” to policy panels. We will kick things off with a town-hall, community conversation on Monday, November 14 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m at the Lovinger Theater. More information about these events will be forthcoming.

In the meantime — as is the case nationally —there are many among our campus community that have expressed concerns about what the election results mean for them and their loved ones. If you or someone you know is in this situation, please know that our Counseling Center is here to help. The Center is located in Room 114 of the Old Gym Building (Tel. 718-960-8761).

I have also heard from some who are especially concerned about what they can do to safeguard themselves and their families from potential immigration actions. Through collaboration with CUNY Citizenship Now! and the Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute, our College provides immigration services in the Office of Community Engagement located in Room 302 of the Old Gym Building (Tel. 347-577-4020). CUNY Citizenship Now! attorneys are ready and willing to help — including providing a free assessment of the immigration benefits for which students and their family members may already qualify.

Several weeks ago, at Convocation, I expressed my admiration for the College’s commitment to reaching its full potential as an agent of change and a steward of place. Today, I am confident that we are well on our way.

It is again time to roll up our sleeves, sharpen our focus, and open our hearts.

It is again time to roll up our sleeves, sharpen our focus, and open our hearts.



José Luis Cruz
President, Lehman College
The City University of New York