Wichita State University president Jay Golden suddenly resigned last week, shocking students, faculty and the local community. The public university, based in Wichita, Kansas, hired Golden nine months ago in October 2019 as the fourteenth university president in its history.
The Kansas Board of Regents announced that Golden resigned on Friday, September 25th and that his resignation was effective immediately:
“Wichita State University President Jay Golden has submitted his resignation to the Kansas Board of Regents. The Board is thankful for his service. We are appreciative of his hard work and dedication to the university and are grateful for his commitment to serving students. We wish him well in all his future endeavors.”
Inside Higher Ed reported that Golden came under fire this past June when the university’s technology school canceled a virtual commencement speech by Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump. Wichita State University Tech had initially announced that Ivanka Trump would be giving the speech, but then canceled her speech. The technology school is a public community college and a WSU affiliate.
A majority of faculty members supported the cancelation, as did the university’s student government association. Golden and WSU Tech’s president, Sheree Utash, said that they invited a student to speak instead of Ivanka Trump due to an emphasis on “student voices.”
Neither the faculty senate nor student government association addressed concerns about cancel culture, which occurs when people try to “cancel” or withdraw public support for someone after said person has allegedly done something offensive. In other words, cancel culture is the Left’s attempt at public shaming and possible career sabotage.
Ivanka Trump circumvented WSU’s cancelation by publishing a pre-recorded speech on the social media platform Twitter and adding written comments blasting cancel culture. Part of what she wrote said, “Our nation’s campuses should be bastions of free speech. Cancel culture and viewpoint discrimination are antithetical to academia… Listening to one another is important now more than ever!”
But donors threatened to withdraw funding from the school over the cancelation, which then spurred the state board of regents to meet for four hours to deliberate about Golden’s fate as president. The meeting did not lead to Golden’s firing.
One of the regents on the board said that Golden’s resignation was not related to the June controversy.
Golden had previously worked as a vice chancellor at East Carolina University before coming to Wichita State.