Dr. Susan Martin said she is ready for the diversity challenges at San Jose State University.
The incoming interim university president was welcomed to the campus on Thursday. It did not take long for someone in the packed campus ballroom to ask Martin about racial tensions.
SJSU has seen racial tensions escalate the last couple of years. In 2013, four white students were charged with misdemeanors for a hate crime and battery.
The students were accused of bullying a black roommate, putting a bicycle lock around his neck and using racial slurs against him.
The president at the time, Mo Qayoumi, was accused of being oblivious to the racial climate on campus and slow to respond in a crisis.
Martin said she is aware of the history at SJSU and hopes to mend fences while improving relations on campus.
"I'm not tolerant of racial intolerance," Martin said. "But as an education institution, we can bring people together and talk about the issues."
SJSU has an active, nationwide search for a permanent president on campus.
Martin would not say if she is interested in the permanent job and only said she is ready to meet with students and hear them out.