College president resigns after comparing freshmen students to rabbits who needed to be drowned and shot
A college president cracks a joke combining gun violence and animal slaughter. What could possibly go wrong? A lot can, apparently, as the latest from Mount St. Mary’s in Maryland shows us with the resignation of now former president, Simon Newton.
The American higher education system has been scrutinized in recent over years as to how they treat their students, from out of control tuition rates to being unable to effectively deal with sexual assault and mental health. In order to increase the retention rates at Mount St. Mary’s, an important numerical factor that many high school students take into account when applying to schools, Newman wished to nip the problem in the bud by getting rid of a number of struggling students before they had to chance to receive help, or fail out. Newton is quoted as telling a doubtful professor, “This is hard for you because you think of the students as cuddly bunnies, but you can’t, you just have to drown the bunnies,” and for good measure, added, “Put a Glock to their heads.”
Whoops. Not the wisest choice of words considering the widespread gun violence in the United States right now. The student newspaper, The Mountain Echo, published an article that exposed his words to the public, and in what some faculty are calling a retaliation, the faculty advisor to the paper, Ed Egan, was fired. The school’s administration claims he was fired for “disloyalty.” In another unwise move by the administration, a professor who had been critical of the president was dismissed, and a provost who disliked the student “cull” lost his title.
Faculty members voted in an overwhelming majority, 87 to 3, for Newman to resign from his role. He resigned shortly thereafter, and hadn’t even completed his first year as president.