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July 12, 2007

Text of state Sen. Florez's letter to CSU chancellor

July 11, 2007

Dr. Charles B. Reed
Chancellor
California State University
401 Golden Shore, Rm. 641
Long Beach, CA 90802

Dear Chancellor Reed:

I am writing to express my concerns about the recent epidemic of discrimination against women occurring at California State University, Fresno under the leadership of President Welty. As you are undoubtedly aware, a jury recently awarded a former female employee nearly six million dollars in damages due to this illegal and deplorable conduct. The specific factual findings of the jury leave little doubt that immediate action must be taken to stop further civil rights violations at California’s public institutions. The jury findings conclude:

    1) The California State University took adverse employment action against a certain female employee because she engaged in protected activity under Title IX.

    2) The California State University discriminated against a certain female employee because of her gender.

    3) The California State University discriminated against a certain female employee because of her perceived sexual orientation.

    4) The California State University decided not to renew the contract of a certain female employee because she claimed she was the victim of gender discrimination.

    Even more troubling is that the verdict described above is the first in a series of pending discrimination actions against President Welty and the California State University.

    In light of this situation, I am inquiring into what affirmative actions you intended to pursue, as Chancellor, to prevent future acts of discrimination against other women throughout the California State University. The present situation leaves no doubt that appropriate reform measures are both necessary and prudent. That is why I am seeking a plan from your office detailing specific actions to be taken, including procedures to review the implementation and effectiveness of those corrective actions.

    I am also concerned that these discriminatory actions may be rampant across other campuses in the California State University System. Accordingly, I respectfully request that your office provide me with information regarding all verdicts and settlements occurring from actions brought against the California State University for discrimination under Title IX for the last ten years. This request includes settlements of claims subject to a non-disclosure agreement.

    Finally, I am asking that the Board of Trustees engage in an active role in this situation and convene an emergency meeting. At this meeting the Board should review the recent acts of discrimination occurring under the leadership of President Welty at Fresno State, review the prevalence of such unconscionable acts of discrimination at other campuses, and review and implement appropriate reform measures to stop the pattern of discrimination at the California State University.

    Sincerely,

    DEAN FLOREZ
    Senator, Sixteenth District

    Cc: Board of Trustees, California State University
    Dr. John D. Welty, President, California State University, Fresno
    General Public

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