I just want to thank the board of trustees at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. for caving in to a group of student protestors by revoking the appointment of the school’s incoming president yesterday. This is the very same president that they voted to appoint just last spring.
What changed their mind in the last few months? A group of students who weren’t happy with the decision decided to ramp up their protest by taking over the campus using sit-ins and demonstrations more reminiscent of the 1960’s than the 21st century.
The trustees who include Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) may have quelled the demonstrations with their action, but they have empowered students all across the country who may now think that they can pull the same type of stunt when they disagree with school administration policies or procedures, with little recrimination.
Gallaudet can now hold classes and go about its business while they search for a new president who undoubtedly will need prior approval of the student body while Jane K. Fernandes the ousted future president looks for a new job
I am not a member of the deaf community so I can’t profess to understand all the issues that concern them, but when one of the arguments for this protest is that Fernandes wasn’t “deaf enough” it brings into question exactly what does that mean. Maybe the students were right and that she wouldn’t have been a good president, but they never gave her a chance either. They based their feelings on some interactions with her as provost, but her duties in that role are different than that of a university president.
We will never know what kind of president Fernandes would have been though thanks to the trustees who couldn’t see past the fog of political correctness to stand their ground and affirm their decision.
The students may have won this battle but the real loser is the university and its reputation.
Don Irvine is the chairman of Accuracy in Media.