The following is an open letter to new Humboldt State University President Tom Jackson Jr. ("HSU Welcomes New President," May 30.)
We welcome your arrival with hope; we know you have many significant challenges to grapple with as you assume leadership of HSU. I call your attention to one challenge that is greater than might be immediately obvious.
On May 30, the Humboldt County DHHS Public Health Department released an extensive Community Health Report based on the World Health Organization's format and a science-based initiative. The report evaluated 17 areas of focus, including obvious ones like healthcare, economic opportunity and transportation.
The report focuses on Humboldt County's death rate that is two to three times higher than the rest of California. This documents a devastating reality. HSU has a responsibility to be part of finding answers to reduce this unnatural death toll. It is now correcting one past error — ending the nursing program — with its collaboration with College of the Redwoods.
Another variable the report evaluated is community-oriented media. The end of community involvement in KHSU last month is devastating to our community in many ways, especially our ability to support our nonprofits, the ones that care for those in our community in most at risk.
In your new role as HSU president, you have critical decisions to make. Please honor your commitment, either by bringing back community programming to KHSU or by cooperating with community members working to buy the license to rebuild this vital community resource. We celebrate your good intentions and fervently hope for good results.
Lynn Robbins, Eureka