North Texas Daily

UNT faculty writes letter denouncing Trump Jr. speech

UNT faculty writes letter denouncing Trump Jr. speech

Courtesy of UNT

UNT faculty writes letter denouncing Trump Jr. speech
September 22
15:27 2017

An online letter signed by 87 UNT faculty members denouncing Donald Trump Jr. being invited to speak as part of the UNT Koehne Speaker Series was posted online Friday morning. The letter says faculty are “shocked” and “embarrassed” by the decision to bring in Trump Jr.

Click here to read the letter in its entirety. 

President Donald Trump’s oldest son is being paid $100,000 for a 30-minute speech at AT&T Stadium on Oct. 24. According to organizers, Trump Jr. will speak about “freedom of speech.”

Reaction from students, faculty and staff have been mixed about UNT’s decision to sponsor Trump Jr.

In the letter, whose contents were confirmed to the North Texas Daily by UNT associate history professor Nancy Stockdale, faculty members “call on the UNT Board of Regents to rescind the invitation to Mr. Trump and to suspend the Kuehne Speaker Series until UNT administrators can devise a shared-governance process that will bring more of UNT’s stakeholders – including UNT administrators, faculty, staff, and students – together to select speakers.”

The letter also states how the invitation of Trump Jr. “does not represent our university community or our shared values.”

The faculty goes on to claim “this invitation evinces a stunning disrespect for women, people of color, LGBTQ members of our community, and others, and it cannot stand.”

Political Science professor Elizabeth Oldmixon said she signed the open letter because faculty were not given an opportunity to provide input regarding the Trump Jr. invitation.

According to Stockdale, the open letter was not sent directly to UNT administrators.

Featured image: Donald Trump Jr. Courtesy of UNT.

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11 Comments

  1. Loves UNT
    Loves UNT September 22, 15:48

    I guess those faculty do not understand that UNT has no desire to become like political bigots like UC-Berkley, by banning speakers with conservative views. And that the primary donor to a private foundation that pays for the speech can invite whomever he or she wants to speak. I’m ashamed of the intolerance and political bigotry of these faculty. They should not be teaching students if they can’t lay their political leanings aside and act as professionals.

    Reply to this comment
    • EAOldmixon
      EAOldmixon September 22, 18:17

      Hi, Loves UNT. I love UNT, too. The Kuehne Series has invited many conservative speakers, and the faculty have never reacted as they have to Mr. Trump. This is not a rejection of intellectual pluralism or conservative ideas. Far from it. In any case, much thanks for your anonymous professional advice.

      Reply to this comment
    • Justice
      Justice September 24, 09:30

      Well said!

      Reply to this comment
    • MeanGreenJacxk
      MeanGreenJacxk September 25, 16:24

      If the donor is determined to bring in a son of a bitch to speak, he should do it somewhere other than under the flag of UNT. as an Alum, I am greatly offended that this asshole is going to speak under the name of UNT. IO hope these administrators are run out of town as they have been up the ass of any Republican they can catch every since they have been here.

      Reply to this comment
  2. lilrebel
    lilrebel September 23, 09:40

    They are afraid of the truth like most Democrats. It is something none of them have learned. They seem to think that lying and taking responsibility for their actions does not mean “them”.If there wasn’t so much hatefulness within the Democratic party and the people who follow their unreasonable and irresponsible examples the USA would be a better place to live. UNT SIT DOWN STFU AND LISTEN FOR A CHANGE INSTEAD OF NEGLECTING THE TRUE FACTS!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Also Loves UNT!!
    Also Loves UNT!! September 23, 19:17

    Or perhaps the above commenter is not considering that these faculty may simply have solidarity with UNT students and community that are alienated by the current administration as well as by comments made by the scheduled speaker?

    Noting that virtually all of the scheduled speakers on this series are conservative, including five (5) Fox “news” affiliates since May of 2015. This is not exactly “laying their political leanings aside”? There is nothing inherently wrong with a conservative speaker series, but perhaps it would be more accurate to label the series as such instead of the nome of “a forum to engage in conversation about topics of national and global relevance.” Unless you happen to think the only topics of national relevance come from Fox news?

    Reply to this comment
  4. Justice
    Justice September 24, 09:18

    Denton Texas. Militant lesbian capital of North America thanks to UNT and TWU.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Bob1313
    Bob1313 September 24, 12:59

    I am a former student at UNT. This letter from certain faculty members is not surprising, given that UNT has a RED rating by the Foundational for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE, see http://www.thefire.org). A RED rating means that there is at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. In the meantime, these faculty members make a number of conclusory statements about Mr. Trump’s character. If they had any fact to back up their accusations one should expect them to so produce them.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Dan
    Dan September 29, 11:00

    I wonder how many of the faculty signatories to the letter have as much business or life experience as Mr. Trump. I graduated from NTSU in 1966 so I may have more business and life experience the most, if not all, of the signatories. I probably would not agree with all of what Mr. Trump will say but I think it would be very interesting to hear his remarks. I hope students and faculty would have the courtesy to listen and absorb what he has to say without prejudging or name calling if they do not agree. A lot can be learned by listening to someone with a different view. I hope intelligent analysis will prevail over spontaneous emotion.

    Reply to this comment
    • Joe
      Joe October 25, 07:31

      Dan, well said. It is not surprising to me, as a grad of both NTSU and UNT, that other graduates have such a common sense view of this event. I got a great education at this august institution and part of that education was to be open to other points of view. I’m smart enough to know when someone is blowing smoke and when they have a serious viewpoint backed up by facts. I can not express the level of my disappointment at the faculty who don’t want to even consider a viewpoint that conflicts with their own (and 25% of those were MUSIC people! My pride and joy of UNT) College is supposed to teach you HOW to think, not WHAT.

      Reply to this comment
    • UNT_faculty
      UNT_faculty October 25, 11:18

      Dan, the UNT students and faculty were not invited to the “event”. So we were not able to “learn” from someone with a different view. For sure I had very different life experiences than Mr. “I love it” Trump as I was not born in a billionaire family and I was not given a job in a family business. I also did not sell my country to a foreign power.

      Reply to this comment

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