“Bunny-Drowning” University President Resigns


Simon Newman resigned from his position as president of Mount St. Mary’s University this afternoon, according to a message posted on the university’s website. Newman, you may recall, demoted two philosophers from their administrative posts and tried to fire both a tenured associate professor of philosophy, Thane Naberhaus, and an untenured communications professor, Edward Egan, who was advisor to the student newspaper. All of this was in the wake of the newspaper publishing messages from Newman regarding his plan to surreptitiously use a student survey to cull students from the entering class ahead of a federal reporting deadline, a plan he described as “drowning the bunnies” and putting “a glock to their heads.” Thousands of academics objected to Newman’s plan, signing on to a letter authored by former Mount St. Mary’s philosophy professor John Schwenkler (now at Florida State).

In the statement, Newman says, “I care deeply about the school and the recent publicity relating to my leadership has become too great of a distraction to our mission of educating students. It was a difficult decision but I believe it is the right course of action for the Mount at this time.” The resignation is “effective immediately.”

(via John Schwenkler)

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Alfred H MacDonald
Alfred H MacDonald
5 years ago

this headline is worryingly misleading and possibly dramaticizes things a bit — it’s unclear to a person unfamiliar with the metaphor that “bunny-drowning” is in fact a metaphorReport

John Schwenkler
John Schwenkler
5 years ago

Seriously philosophers you should all feel pretty great right now. The momentum behind that statement was awesome to witness, and played a huge part in making this a national story. This incident should be a message to administrators everywhere about the power of the academic community to unite. Now let’s do it more often.Report

John Schwenkler
John Schwenkler
Reply to  Christopher Gauker
5 years ago

This article in the Chronicle has quotes from me and Brian Henning (Gonzaga), another philosopher who taught previously at the Mount: http://chronicle.com/article/Simon-Newman-Resigns-as/235541Report

Stephen R. Grimm
Reply to  John Schwenkler
5 years ago

You were the perfect person for the moment, John. Well done.Report

Phoenix, son of Amyntor
Phoenix, son of Amyntor
Reply to  Stephen R. Grimm
5 years ago

Hear! Hear!Report

SCM
SCM
5 years ago
Ben
Ben
5 years ago

As someone watching these events unfold from the outside, I can only applaud the academic community for making this possible! Report

Perplexed Marketeer
Perplexed Marketeer
5 years ago

Now that you’ve prevented two philosophers from being unemployed for no good reason, maybe unite in order to prevent scores of philosophers from being unemployed for no good reason–i.e., job candidates who will find no employment this year?Report

D.C.
D.C.
Reply to  Perplexed Marketeer
5 years ago

“scores of philosophers from being unemployed for no good reason–i.e., job candidates who will find no employment this year?”

“There aren’t enough jobs” isn’t a good reason?Report