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Firing of tenured faculty prompts uproar at Maryland Catholic college

February 10, 2016

A heated controversy has erupted at a Catholic college in Maryland, after two tenured faculty members were fired, apparently for criticizing the policies of the school's new president.

Simon Newman, a business executive who was appointed last year as president of Mount St. Mary's University, prompted the criticism when he sought the removal of students who were deemed likely to leave the school. In answer to faculty objections, Newman reportedly said that "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."

On February 8, the controversy escalated when Mount St. Mary's summarily dismissed two professors who were involved in opposition to the president's policies. The school's provost, David Rehm, who also disagreed with Newman, had earlier been removed from that post, although he remained on the faculty.

More than 2,400 academics have signed an online petition objecting to the dismissal of the faculty members and demanding their prompt reinstatement. 


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