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Simon Newman, Mount St Mary's President, Resigns Amid Controversy

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By    |   Tuesday, 01 Mar 2016 01:20 PM

Simon Newman, president of Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland, resigned on Monday amid a weeks-long controversy over faculty firings and free speech on campus.

"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," Newman said in a statement Monday evening, The Washington Post reported

"It was a difficult decision but I believe it is the right course of action for the Mount at this time."

The nation's second-oldest Catholic university was rocked in January by an article in school newspaper The Mountain Echo by two student journalists, Rebecca Schisler and Ryan Golden, The New York Times reported

In the article, Newman was reportedly trying to convince professors of a plan to cull struggling freshman as a tactic to boost retention numbers. That would, in turn, bolster the school's overall ranking, it was thought.

"This is hard for you because you think of the students as cuddly bunnies, but you can’t," Newman was quoted as saying during the meeting. "You just have to drown the bunnies."

"Put a Glock to their heads," he reportedly added.

A few weeks later, the student paper’s faculty adviser, Ed Egan, was fired.

He said the article was to blame.

Associate professor of philosophy, Thane Naberhaus, was also fired, and a provost, David Rehm, was stripped of his role. Both had reportedly been critical of Newman's plan.

In February, the firings of Egan and Naberhaus were reversed, but the controversy lingered.

Soon, faculty members voted 87 to 3 to demand that Newsman resign.

"It has become apparent that negative public attention has interfered with our ability to continue in our work and to bring new students and faculty to this campus," the faculty said in a joint statement released by David McCarthy, the secretary to the faculty.

"We have come to the sad conclusion that this state of affairs cannot be resolved while you continue in your current office."

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Simon Newman, president of Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland, resigned on Monday amid a weeks-long controversy over faculty firings and free speech on campus.
simon newman, resigns, mount st marys
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2016-20-01
Tuesday, 01 Mar 2016 01:20 PM
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