A university president was pushed out for not being leftist enough for students and faculty.
Earlier this month, University of Colorado President Mark Kennedy announced he would resign after just two years in the position. Now, The Federalist has reported that the reason Kennedy resigned was that he wasn’t leftist enough for the campus, particularly on the issue of diversity, even though he hired UC’s first chief diversity officer and secured a $5 million fund of race-based initiatives, including a program that offered in-state tuition for members of Colorado’s indigenous tribes.
UC’s Vice President of Communications Ken McConnellogue defended Kennedy to The Federalist, telling the outlet Kennedy also “contributed $1 million in his own funds for a school of medicine scholarship for students in underrepresented communities.”
But that wasn’t enough for students and faculty, who already despised Kennedy because he had previously criticized affirmative action and apparently opposed same-sex marriage. In March, The Federalist reported, UC’s faculty voted to censure Kennedy for “his failure of leadership with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
“The urgency of this issue requires leadership at the highest level of our University of Colorado system, leadership in actions and words,” the faculty wrote.
Kennedy had entered the position with narrow support from the university’s board of regents at the time. Last fall, however, Democrats flipped control of the board for the first time in 41 years and began purging anyone not left-of-center. Kennedy, a Republican who previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives and as president of the University of North Dakota, was in the crosshairs for sure. The board, along with students and faculty, began looking for something they could use to claim Kennedy was a racist.
In their lengthy censure of the president, the faculty wrote that Kennedy’s use of the term “Trail of Tears” was offensive and diminished the “genocide of Indigenous Peoples,” as well as hurt the university’s inclusion efforts. Kennedy used the phrase as a metaphor for declining class enrollment.
“On-campus is declining and online is growing,” Kennedy said last August. “If we don’t get online right … we have a trail of tears in front of us.”
More from The Federalist:
Students at the Boulder campus censured Kennedy along the same lines in April, complaining Kennedy’s commitment to efforts of diversity and inclusion failed to meet the far-left standards which now demand adherence to structural diversity as a secular quasi-religion.
Kennedy’s initiatives weren’t enough, won’t ever will be enough, can’t ever be enough when the apparent oppressor possesses an “R” next to his name.
“I’m not sure if I would go as far as to say he’s being fired for insufficient wokeness,” McConnellogue said, but “what is clear is that there’s a new make up of the board and they want to go in a different direction.”