Message from President Wong: Focus on the Mission of the University


I hope that the early days of spring semester are going well for you. With classes back in session, it has been wonderful to see the campus fully alive and abuzz with activity.

There are a number of updates to share related to campus climate.

First, our campus continues to examine and address serious concerns about anti-Semitism and other significant social issues facing our students and the university community. Together, we are confronting these challenges vigorously and thoughtfully--befitting this campus’s legacy for strong scholarship, social justice, equity, community and inclusion. I ask you to own your own mind, focus on the goals, values and mission of the University and join me in this collective endeavor affirming our willingness to confront tough issues with reason and commitment. The work is not easy, but it is worthwhile. And I am confident that we will emerge stronger for it.

Second, we are not undertaking this work in isolation. CSU Chancellor Timothy White recently shared what I believe is a moving statement of what it means to study, work, and live within the values of the California State University. I’ve asked my cabinet and their respective leadership teams to absorb and apply this message to their work; I hope you will take the time to do so as well. I am proud to embrace the Chancellor’s vision and commitment to essential values as we navigate a complex and turbulent world.

Third, I thought you should know about a legal complaint filed against San Francisco State and the CSU last week in state court. This lawsuit, backed by a New York group called the Lawfare Project, makes allegations of anti-Semitism at SF State. Another Lawfare Project-backed lawsuit, filed in federal court in June 2017, was dismissed in the University’s favor.

I would like to make it clear that San Francisco State is deeply committed to fighting all forms of discrimination, including anti-Semitism. We will continue to address concerns from our campus community and others while ensuring that Jewish students—and all students—are able to pursue their education in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment.

In closing, I wish each of you a fulfilling and successful Spring semester in this productive and creative University community. I look forward to seeing many of you around campus and to another wonderful commencement ceremony at AT&T Park—which will be here before we know it.


Les Wong