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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.