As the rain fell on the Fresno State campus, President John Welty promised returning faculty and staff, quote, sunny days ahead.
Dr. John Welty: "We are emerging from a painful period in Fresno State history, having accepted responsibility for mistakes and moving aggressively to make sure they are not repeated."
Despite multimillion dollar judgments against the University in the Stacy Johnson Klein lawsuit, and two others, Welty told the crowd he will not tolerate discrimination of any kind on campus. As he unveiled a look at the Fresno State of the future, Welty said he's ready to oversee the growth as the University celebrates its centennial in 2011.
A longtime staff member who's been laying out the university's master plan on the internet says she likes what Welty is saying.
Cher Travis Ellis, Fresno State Web Developer: "We're getting the message all the way down to the staff level. That he's taking all this very seriously and that he's concerned about our opinion and outlook for the future."
Other faculty members say they hope Welty can lead them into the future while leaving the negatives in the past.
Alfredo Cuellar, Fresno State Professor: "The university and higher education system is learning from this. I think the number one learner is Dr. Welty. I think it's up to society to come out with a judgement for him."
The students themselves also say they've learned a lesson from Welty's legal troubles and calls for his resignation.
Val-Pierre Dai're, Fresno State Student: "I'd rather be known for an academic place, Not, oh you're the school that got sued. I'm like move on, get past. I support him in whatever he wants to do."
Elizabeth Puga, Fresno State Student: "Three or four different lawsuits. I'ts kind of hard to believe there's no truth to it. There's not enough being done. Being President of the school I don't think he should keep his job."
When the Madden library opens next year the president's office will be on the top floor. That is where Dr. Welty expects to stay.