College administrator who repeated racial slur, on unpaid leave

The vice president of business services at Santa Barbara City College was placed on unpaid leave after she repeated a racial slur while talking about gender and racial issues on campus.

During a gender equity work group meeting on Nov. 14, Lyndsay Maas repeated a story a student had told her about a racial slur that was aimed in the students direction. Five days later, several people speaking at a Santa Barbara Board of Trustees meeting demanded Maas resign.

On Nov. 19, Maas was placed on unpaid leave. Maas then issued an apology for saying the word, and causing pain.

“That word should never be used in any context as it only serves to perpetuate racism, and I was complicit,” Maas wrote. “I recognize that I need to reflect on what took place and do thoughtful, informed work to educate myself. I will spend my future at SBCC more aware of how words can cause pain. Additionally, I will continue to be a part of the changes needed to help battle on campus racism.”

Campus President Dr. Anthony Beebe released a statement denouncing racism.

“Santa Barbara City College is not unaffected by the history and power dynamics that support racism and other forms of discrimination,” Beebe wrote. “As an institution of learning, we must hold ourselves and each other accountable and commit to the necessary work to address and root out racism and inequity on our campus.

“Racism and inequality are painful aspects of our history and remain in our environment. We must change that. As difficult as this work may be, it must continue. The work requires all of us, and I welcome all voices, from throughout campus, to be part of making this institutional change.”