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Chancellor Gary Brahm Addresses the Brandman Community about John C. Eastman

September 04, 2020 by Gary Brahm

Dear Members of the Brandman Community,

Some of you have asked the university to take a strong stance against Chapman University professor John C. Eastman’s unfortunate opinion piece that raises questions about whether Sen. Kamala Harris meets constitutional requirements to serve as vice president. As the chancellor of Brandman University, which is part of the Chapman University System, I concur it is incumbent upon me to respond with certainty.

I am dissapointed that Mr. Eastman seemingly tried to seize the opportunity to gain a headline by enabling the toxic, mean-spirited, and racist dialogue that is all too pervasive in American communities today, and that he did so with complete disregard for those whom his words might offend. As a member of the faculty at Chapman University, Mr. Eastman should have known his editorial would be deployed by racist and xenophobic factions of our society who would naturally stand in opposition to a female candidate for vice president who is of Black and South Asian descent. It is this behavior that we must reject.

Equally important, Brandman University is taking meaningful actions to immerse our institution in the qualities of equity and inclusion. Our School of Education is working with a cohort of students to find ways to diversify our curriculum, among other reforms. On Monday, the Board of Regents voted to fund a new Office of Equity and Inclusion. The leader of this office will serve as a member of the senior staff and report directly to me. The board’s action was prompted by the dedicated members of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee that launched in December 2018.

By establishing equity and inclusion as a top university priority, I have sent a clear signal that we expect all Brandman community members to be positively engaged with the new Office of Equity and Inclusion. I am optimistic the office will set into motion meaningful and lasting change for the betterment of Brandman students, faculty, and staff.

In closing, I am always interested in hearing from students, faculty, and staff on matters that are important to them, especially at times when people need to discuss sensitive topics that affect our entire institution. I will always be open to ideas and suggestions to make our university an ever-more inclusive community of learning.

Let’s move forward together by continuing to engage in our democratic process in at least the following ways:

  • Register to vote if you haven’t already.
  • If you plan to vote by mail, vote as early as possible.
  • Fill out and return your 2020 Census form.
  • Be safe and protect others from COVID-19.


Gary Brahm


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