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Mount St Mary's Controversy Explodes Over President's 'Glock' Comments

Image: Mount St Mary's Controversy Explodes Over President's 'Glock' Comments
President Simon Newman (Twitter/@PresidentMSMU)

By    |   Thursday, 11 Feb 2016 09:00 AM

Mount St. Mary's University is steeped in controversy after its president was quoted in a student newspaper article saying he planned to cut struggling freshman in order to boost the school's retention numbers.

"This is hard for you because you think of the students as cuddly bunnies, but you can’t," President Simon Newman was quoted as saying, The New York Times reported. "You just have to drown the bunnies."

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

After the student article drew backlash, Ed Egan, the faculty adviser who helps oversee The Mountain Echo student newspaper, was fired.

In a statement, Mount St. Mary’s said that Egan was fired for violating the "code of conduct and acceptable use policies," however Egan claims that his firing was a retaliation by Newman.

"There’s no other possible explanation," he said.

The chairman of the university’s board denied the assertion on Wednesday.

"Ed, as the faculty adviser, could really frame the battlefield, if you will, around what the issue was," John Coyne told The Times. "We had a president in a private conversation with a colleague says the bad-metaphor-hall-of-fame statement, and that was the story. And the position behind it about a retention program that was never enacted, was suddenly lost in the conversation."

The students who wrote the article, Rebecca Schisler and Ryan Golden, and Egan rejected Coyne's characterization, saying the quote was sourced from two professors who had heard it directly from Newman.

Two other professors, Thane Naberhaus and David Rehm, where also fired within days of Egan. Both of them had reportedly criticized Newman's policies.

A petition protesting the firings is now circulating at the university, and has garnered more than 6,000 signatures since Tuesday, The Washington Post reported

Newman responded to the controversy in a letter sent to parents on Wednesday. He said he had "taken the high" road.

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Mount St. Mary's University is steeped in controversy after its president was quoted in a student newspaper article saying he planned to cut struggling freshman in order to boost the school's retention numbers.
mount st marys, controversy, president, newspaper
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2016-00-11
Thursday, 11 Feb 2016 09:00 AM
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