“You Just Have To Drown The Bunnies”: Mount St. Mary’s University Fires Academic and Newspaper Adviser After Criticism Of President

Simon-Newman-bio_webThere is a highly disturbing story out of Mount St. Mary’s University where the adviser to the school newspaper was fired after the newspaper ran a story of how university’s president, Simon Newman (left), had said that the school had to tighten its standards and get rid of less competitive students. He mocked colleagues who were resisting by reportedly saying “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.”

The article, by Rebecca Schisler and Ryan Golden, was published in The Mountain Echo. It also quoted Newman as telling faculty to “Put a Glock to their heads.”

The school says that Newspaper Advisor Ed Egan was fired for violating the “code of conduct and acceptable use policies.” However, it seemed clear that the newspaper coverage was the impetus for both Egan and his supporters. They point to the fact that, on the same day that Mr. Egan was fired, Thane Naberhaus, an associate professor of philosophy was dismissed after criticizing Newman’s policies. Three days earlier, David Rehm, was stripped of his role as provost after questioning policies.

The dismissal letter to Naberhaus was reportedly signed by Newman and said “As an employee of Mount St. Mary’s University, you owe a duty of loyalty to this university and to act in a manner consistent with the duty. However, your recent actions, in my opinion and that of others, have violated that duty and clearly justify your termination.”

My greatest concern is obviously with academic freedom and free speech. The timing of these actions raises a legitimate question over retaliation for academic and journalistic functions. If found to be true, it is Newman, 51, that deserves to be fired. Newman’s background is in business not academics. He has a bachelor of arts degree (with honors) and an master of arts degree in natural sciences from Cambridge University. However, he spent 30 years working as an executive in private equity, strategy consulting, and operations. He is the former managing director of the private equity fund JP Capital Partners, as well as president and CEO of Cornerstone Management Group, founded in 1997.

Source: New York Times

27 thoughts on ““You Just Have To Drown The Bunnies”: Mount St. Mary’s University Fires Academic and Newspaper Adviser After Criticism Of President

  1. At my law school the bottom 25% of the senior class received a certification of eligibility to take the California bar exam, but they were not awarded a degree. The school did that in order to keep their bar passage rate up. The CA bar only counts the pass rate of graduates of each law school in its statistics, so by withholding an actual degree, the law school prevented the risky students from lowering its overall pass rate.

  2. it’s a matter of philosophy

    In today’s ‘broke-ass society’ you got to justify your right to exist, least in the US.

    While many countries in Europe are moving towards a guaranteed basic income they are putting their trust their fellow citizens to give back naturally in exchange – no man shall be too rich, no many shall be too poor.

    In the US the perception is, unless you fall out of the right vagina you are born a slave to the system or a burden to the money class.

  3. One thing that no longer part of the conversation, or has been put on the back burner for decades; because it’s rather complex, is the role of the parent.

    Education begins at home and if it is not valued it will not be instilled in the child.

    A part of that value is developed by or perhaps determined by income.

    Which is sad because in a capitalist economy that makes people a commodity and regulated under the laws of supply and demand.

    We have a surplus of low income people and as automation replaces redundant workers we will have to decide how much poverty we are willing to live with or if we distribute the production of automation to the people and under what conditions.

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