DO SOMETHING! A Few Helpful Links

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth: supporting democratic institutions by providing accurate, thoughtful information about candidates.

EKU Alphabet Center – A Safe Place for LGBTQA students and community members at Eastern Kentucky University.

ACLU of Kentucky: Advocacy and support for civil rights in the Commonwealth.

More Supporters!

The following people wanted their names added to the list of signatories who supported the content of the letter, but could not get added in time for the publication of the original:

Renee Causey-Upton – Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, EKU

William Farrar – Professor Emeritus, EKU

Amanda Green – EKU

Amy Milcznski – ASLIE – EKU

Abbey Poffenberger – Chair, Dept. of Languages, Cultures and Humanities, EKU

Jane Rainey – Professor Emeritus, Department of Government – EKU


The Original Signers

Sarah Adams

EKU Libraries


Stephanie W. Adams, MSW, CSW

Director, Social Work Program


Chad Adkins

Institutional Effectiveness & Research


Erin Aiello

Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences


Dominic J. Ashby

Dept. of English


Michilyn Bhandari

Dept. of Health Promotion & Admnistration


Heather Beirne

EKU Libraries


Gaby Bedetti

Dept. of English


Pam Black

Assoc. Professor, Social Work Program


Dr. April Blakely

Assoc. Professor & Coordinator of Graduate Programs, Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction


Anthony P. Blose

Dept. of Physics and Astronomy


Jeffrey Boord-Dill

Asst. Professor of Theatre


Dr. Lisa Bosley

Dept. of English


Vicki Brashear

Dept. of American Sign Language and Interpreter Education


Diane Brewer

Dept. of Psychology


Tom Butler

Dept. of English


Patrick J. Calie, Ph.D.

Professor, Dept. of Biological Sciences


Dr. Marco Ciocca

Dept. of Physics and Astronomy


Dr. Kelli Carmean

Professor, Department of Anthropology, Sociology & Social Work

Director, KIIS Program


Ross C. Clark, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Biological Studies


Chad C. Cogdill

Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Communication


Victoria Collins

School of Justice Studies


Gregory Conley

Dept. of Languages, Cultures, and Humanities


Manuel Cortés Castañeda

Assoc. Professor of Spanish, Coordinator, Dept. of Languages, Cultures and Humanities


Deborah Core, PhD

Professor Emerita, Dept. of English


Patrick J. Costello

Foundation Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics


Jackie Couture

EKU Libraries


Dr. Lisa Day, Associate Professor, Dept. of English,

Director of Interdisciplinary Studies


Chris Dewhurst, Senior Lecturer

School of Justice and Safety


April Duckworth

Appalachian Studies


Sarah Evan, Adjunct Professor

Appalachian Studies


Dr. John Fitch III

Dept. of Communication


Anne Fleischer, PhD, MPH

Assoc. Professor, Occupational Science and

Occupational Therapy Dept.


Margaret M Frozena, Lecturer

Dept. of English


Daniel L. Fulks, PhD, CPA

Adjunct Faculty

NCAA Research Consultant


Joe Gershtenson

Dept. of Government


Alana Ghent

Assoc. Professor of Theatre


José Juan Gómez-Becerra, Ph.D.

Dept. of Languages, Cultures and Humanities


Shana L. Goggins, LPCA

Instructor, Interdisciplinary Programs, Appalachian Studies


Jonathan Gore

Dept. of Psychology and URCE


Donnie Grayson

Dept. of English


Darryl Halbrooks

Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Art and Design


Cynthia Harter, Ph.D.

Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Accounting, Finance and Information Systems


Julie Hensley

Professor, Bluegrass Writers Studio


Catherine Herdman

Adjunct Faculty

Appalachian Studies


Derek Holcomb

Dept. of Health Promotion & Administration


Nancy Jensen

Assoc. Professor, Dept. of English


Robert Dean Johnson

Dept. of English


Ronald L. Jones

Foundation Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Biological Science


Dr. James R. Keller

Chair, Dept. of English


Dr. Peter B. Kraska

School of Justice Studies


Susan Kroeg

Dept. of English


Paula Kopacz, Ph.D.

Dept. of English


Jessica C. Lair, Ph.D.

Dept. of Physics and Astronomy


Erik Liddell

Dept. of Languages, Cultures and Humanities, EKU Honors Program


Christina Lovin, MFA

Senior Lecturer

Dept. of English


Karoline Manny, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty, Dept. of Languages, Cultures, and Humanities


Dr. Travis L. Martin, Instructor

Interdisciplinary Programs


Melony Martínez, MAS, BA

Adjunct Spanish Professor,

Dept. of Language, Cultures & Humanities


Betsy Matthews

School of Justice Studies


Shannon Ryan McCarthy

Asst. Professor of Graphic Design, Dept. of Art and Design


Nancy McKenney

Co-Vice President, EKU Chapter of AAUP


Molly McKinney

Dept. of Health Promotion & Administration


Stephanie McSpirit, PhD

Dept. of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work


Robert L. Milde

Dept. of English


Bethany L. Miller, Ph.D.

Women & Gender Studies

Institutional Research & Effectiveness


Marie Mitchell

Dept. of Communication


Hollis Moore

School of Justice Studies


Courtnie Morin

Dept. of English & Dept. of Interdisciplinary Studies


Rick Mott

Dept. of English


Bill Mullen, Senior Lecturer

Dept. of English

Meagan Murray

Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Research


Gerald Nachtwey

Dept. of English


Chris Neumann

Dept. of English


Laura Newhart, Ph.D.

Dept. of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies


Jordan Newman, Adjunct Instructor

Dept. of English


Teri Nowak, PhD

Dept. of Psychology


Clinton M. Nowicke

Dept. of Psychology


Thomas C. Parker

Adjunct Faculty, Dept. of Government


Jill Parrott, PhD

Assoc. Professor, First-Year Writing Coordinator


Rose Perrine

Assoc. Dean, College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences


Karen Petronio, Ph.D.

Professor, Dept. of American Sign Language & Interpreter Education


Rodney B. Piercey

Dept. of Physics and Astronomy


Dr. Mark Pitts

Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy


Bonnie C. Plummer

Professor Emeritus, Dept. of English


Gary Potter

Dept. of Criminal Justice & Police Studies


Christine Privott

Dept. of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Women and Gender Studies


Erin Presley

Department of English


Dr. Kevin R. Rahimzadeh

Dept. of English


Esther E. Randall

Professor, Dept. of Art and Design


Charlotte Rich

Department of English


Michael Rich, Ph.D.

Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Languages, Cultures and Humanities


Sarah Richardson

EKU Libraries


Gary Ritchison

Dept. of Biological Sciences


Carl Root

Lecturer, School of Justice Studies


Dawn L. Rothe, PhD

Chair, School of Justice Studies


Judah Schept

Assoc. Professor, School of Justice Studies


Laurel Schwartz

Dept. of Health Promotion & Administration


John Settimi

Dept. of Agriculture


Dr. Brent Shannon

Dept. of English


John C. Shearer

Dept. of English


Tara Shepperson

Educational Leadership & Policy Studie


Kimberly Siahkoohi

Dept. of English


Carter Sickels
Asst. Professor of Creative Writing, Dept. of English

Charles Mason Smith, Ph.D.

Dept. of English


Dr. Young Smith

Assoc. Professor, Dept. of English


Tracy Spigelman

Dept. of Exercise & Sport Science


Tara Stevens,

American Sign Language & Interpreter Education Dept.



Dorothy Sutton

Foundation Professor & Emerita Professor, Dept. of English


William Sutton

Emeritus, Dept. of English


Dr. Gay Sweely

Assoc. Professor Emeritus of Art History, Dept. of Art & Design


Felicia Szorad

Professor, Dept. of Art and Design


Travis Townsend

Dept. of Art and Design


Kenneth Tunnell

Foundation Professor & Professor Emeritus


Ashley Twehues

Office of Institutional Research


Jose L. Varela-Ibarra

Dept. of Languages, Cultures & Humanities


Carolin Walz

Senior Lecturer, Dept. of English


Amanda Wangler

Adjunct Faculty, Dept. of Languages, Cultures, and Humanities


James B. Wells

School of Justice Studies


Matthew P. Winslow

Dept. of Psychology


Neil H. Wright

Professor Emeritus of Humanities


Dr. Socorro Zaragoza

Assoc. Professor of Spanish, Dept. of Languages, Cultures, and Humanities


Assoc. Professor of Spanish, Dept. of Languages, Cultures, and Humanities

The Open Letter to the President and Board of Regents

We, the undersigned members of the faculty of Eastern Kentucky University, write to express our profound opposition to the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign, which is organizing a rally to take place at Alumni Coliseum next Saturday, October 13th. Our opposition to the campaign does not arise from any differences of opinion with the political content that is likely to be put forth at the rally: as a group, we among the faculty subscribe to a diverse set of political beliefs which mirror those of the student body and the Commonwealth as a whole, and we are fully committed to encouraging the expression of that diversity of beliefs. Yet we must object to this campaign which has consistently, openly, and unambiguously attacked the values of inquiry, learning, and free speech which lie at the heart of higher education and form the core mission of this University.

The assault on those values by the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign is not a matter for debate: it is a fact attested to by the actions and words of its representatives and especially those of its leader. Moreover, almost no component of higher education has been spared from these attacks. Towards the physical and biological sciences, the campaign has consistently and deliberately sought to undermine, not any particular fields or hypotheses, but the very legitimacy of the project of scientific inquiry. By casting doubt on the motives and methodologies of the scientific community, the campaign has denigrated the committed work of countless investigators—including many of our colleagues here at the University—and has made many students and aspiring scientists question the value of pursuing scientific careers. The campaign’s assault on the humanities and social sciences has been, if anything, even more insidious. They have perverted argumentative techniques that look for multiple meanings in human endeavors by asserting instead that there are multiple “alternative truths” that need not be proven but only enforced by the exercise of political and economic power and, when necessary, violence. In this way the campaign has sought to foreclose the possibility of the real interpretation and evaluation of ideas: practices that lie at the center of our mission as a university and which are codified in our Strategic and Quality Enhancement Plans.

As much as we are troubled by this campaign’s direct attacks upon the work of higher education, they are not the most compelling reasons for our opposition to the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign. Since its inception in 2015, the campaign has sought to discredit the very foundations of shared discourse and free speech upon which academic inquiry and civil society rest. Their representatives have worked to silence and discredit opponents rather than entering into dialogue with them, while those same representatives have objectified and demonized countless minority and disenfranchised groups who have made easy targets for their exclusionary rhetoric: these groups include, but are not limited to, women, people of color, immigrants, and the LGBTQA community.

The threatening rhetoric of the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign has been so virulent that in the few days since this rally was announced, many faculty members have reported hearing from students who are concerned for their physical safety. We want to acknowledge that the fears of these students are fully justified and are founded in the attested fact that real acts of violence have occurred at and around other rallies sponsored by this campaign in the past three years. We sincerely hope that all measures humanly possible will be taken to ensure the well-being of every single person on campus in the time leading up to, during, and after this rally.

We note with great frustration that ensuring the safety of rally attendees, protesters, students, staff, and faculty will put a great financial burden on the University, the City of Richmond, Madison County, and the State of Kentucky at a time when budgets for all are very limited. From an economic perspective alone, the rally is certain to have a negative impact on our community. Moreover, both the rally itself and the necessary security presence required by it are sure to present a significant obstacle to the educational work of the University, which will still go on in spite of the event.

We, the undersigned faculty of Eastern Kentucky University, feel both a professional and a moral obligation to object to a campaign which has already done so much to undermine the values of learning, inquiry and responsible citizenship that we all work daily to cultivate in our students; we also regret the disruption to the lives of students and the work of the University that this rally is sure to have. We affirm our belief that the United States of America is already, and has long been, a great nation, and we profess that the best way to maintain that greatness is through the technological development, intellectual discipline, and ethical growth that can only be achieved through a commitment to education and learning.