Colorado Faculty Respond to Trump Appearance


The following is the text of a letter signed by 114 members of the faculty at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs in response to a campaign appearance at the university by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. 

July 28, 2016

Dear Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak,

With the pending visit of the Republican nominee for President, Donald J. Trump, to the University of Colorado Colorado Springs on Friday July 29, 2016, the signers of this letter, as faculty of UCCS, feel the need to offer a public response to Mr. Trump’s presence on our campus. This letter does not claim to represent all UCCS faculty or the university, only the individuals who have endorsed its message.

To be clear, UCCS is a public university and, as such, it is an institution that reveres free speech. As university faculty, we not only recognize Mr. Trump’s legal right to speak on our campus, but also embrace the productive dialogue about U.S. and global politics that the event will no doubt inspire. But we as faculty similarly have the right and obligation to express our own professional consciences, especially as it pertains to events occurring at our place of work.

While we recognize Mr. Trump’s right to speak at UCCS and at other public venues, we strongly condemn the content and tone of much of the rhetoric that Mr. Trump has used since announcing his bid for Presidency.

Our issues with Mr. Trump are twofold. First, Mr. Trump has repeatedly made public statements that are either not supported by any reasonable amount of empirical evidence or are reliant on selective samples. For instance, Mr. Trump has repeatedly stated that crime in the United States is rising and that we live in a society that is growing more dangerous. A preponderance of evidence at the nationwide level contradicts that claim; but more importantly, Trump then uses such specious reasoning to fuel fear of certain minority groups.

Second, Mr. Trump’s unsubstantiated statements have been used to impugn entire groups of people, including Muslims, Mexicans, women, and disabled people. We contend that his divisive language prevents the kind of civil discourse that is the life blood of a democratic society. Mr. Trump’s claim that the majority of immigrants from Mexico are criminals, including murderers and rapists, is contradicted by documented evidence. Similarly, Mr. Trump’s call for the use of torture would contravene the United Nations Convention against Torture.

Likewise, UCCS’ stance on diversity and inclusiveness states that we “must be inclusive of everyone” in order to combat “legacies of advantage and disadvantage,” which accords with Article 10 of the University of Colorado’s nondiscrimination policy. We honor the spirit of former CU president George Norlin, who took a courageous stand against racial and religious discrimination based on ideals that our university continues to uphold.

We censure any statement made by Mr. Trump (or any other person) that can be classified in these two ways. As faculty of a university that prides itself on the encouragement of free speech and the productive discourse that can follow, we reject the reckless use of language that supports silencing anyone on our campus—even as we respect the right to speak such words.


 Jeffrey Scholes, Philosophy                                                                Jeffrey Montez de Oca, Sociology

Minnette Church, Anthropology

Tom Huber, Geography

Katherine Mack, English

Paul Harvey, History

Carole Huber, Geography

Rex Welshon, Philosophy

Edin Mujkic, School of Public Affairs

Christopher Bell, Communication

Abby Ferber, Sociology and WEST

Steve Carter, English

Elizabeth Daniels, Psychology

George Cheney, Communication

Allison Monterrosa, Sociology

Patty Witkowsky, Leadership, Research, & Foundations

Nick Lee, Sociology

Crystal Baye Herald, English

Spencer Harris, College of Business

Kristin Samuelson, Psychology

Greg Oman, Mathematics

Brandon Gavett, Psychology

Kimberly Holcomb, WEST

Chlesea Lawson, English

Leal Lauderbaugh, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Daphne Greenwood, Economics

Karen Livesey, Physics

Lissanna Follari, Teaching and Learning

John Adams, Mechanical Engineering

Carlos a. Paz de Araujo, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Lew Pinson, Computer Science – retired

April Lanotte, UCCSTeach

Michael Calvisi, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Dustin Bluhm, Management; College of Business

Carole Woodall, History and WEST

Kotaro Shoji, Trauma, Health, & Hazards Center

Jarred Bultema, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Jane Rigler, VAPA-Music

Liesl H. Eberhardt, Communication

Eric Eberhardt, Pre-Collegiate, Communication, Extended Studies

Alexander Soifer, Inter-Departmental Studies

Evan Engle, Education

Leah Davis Witherow, History

Lori Guasta, Sociology

Brandon Vogt, Geography

Abram Minzer, Music

Nina Ellis Frischmann, History

Zachary Mesyan, Mathematics

Kimbra Smith, Anthropology

Lilika A. Belet, Sociology

Haleh Abghari, VAPA

Robert Larkin, Geography and Environmental Studies

Margaret M. Beranek, College of Business

Jamie May, English

Linda K. Watts, Anthropology

Karenleigh A. Overmann, Center for Cognitive Archaeology

Lauren M. Kinnee, VAPA

Julaine Field, Counseling and Human Services

Michael Kisley, Psychology

Stephany Rose, Women’s Ethnic Studies

Rhonda Williams, Counseling and Human Services

Suzanne P. MacAulay, VAPA

Irina Kopteva, GES

Sarah Treschl, English

Margie Oldham, National Student Exchange Program

Suzanne Cook, Languages and Cultures

Sherry Marshall, Sociology

Michaela Steen, Visual and Performing Arts

Valerie Sievers, Nursing

Cerian Gibbes, Geography

Leslie Rapparlie, English

Lesley Ginsberg, English

Sudhanshu Kumar Semwal, Computer Science

Mary Margaret Alvarado, English

Chris Bairn, History

Anthony Cordova, MOSAIC

Mary France, Languages & Cultures

Joan Ray, Professor Emerita, English,

Stephanie Spratt, Kraemer Family Library

Eileen Skahill, Sociology and Humanities

Don Klingner, School of Public Affairs

Heather Albanesi, Sociology

Elizabeth Cutter, Teaching & Learning

Jefferson M. Spicher, Nursing

Fred Lege, Student Health Center

Christine L. Robinson, English

James Parmenter, Mathematics

Janice Gould, Women’s & Ethnic Studies

Lisa Durrenberger, Biology

Vanessa Howell, Nursing

Ken Pellow, English

Majid M.J. Arjomandi, Communication

Jared Benson, History and Humanities

Robert Carlson, Mathematics

James Daly, Professor Emeritus Mathematics

Roger L. Martinez, History

Radu Cascaval, Mathematics

David Havlick, Geography and Environmental Studies

Maggie Gaddis, Biology

Manuel Gunther, Computer Science

Leilani Feliciano, PhD, Psychology,

Edie Greene, Psychology

Barbara Prinari, Mathematics

Christina Jimenez, History

Glen Whitehead, VAPA

Mary Jane Sullivan, PhD, Visual and Performing Arts,

Anna Kosloski, School of Public Affairs

Christopher V. Hill, History

Benjamin Syn, English

Stephanie Ryon, School of Public Affairs

Pauline Foss, Visual and Performing Arts

Nanna L. Meyer, Nursing

Leslie Grant, Teaching & Learning

Amy Haines, History

3 thoughts on “Colorado Faculty Respond to Trump Appearance

  1. Pingback: Colorado Faculty Respond to Trump Appearance — ACADEME BLOG – Arte y Cultura Perú

  2. I appreciate your freedom of speech and I hope that you’ll take mine as a grain of salt and in the spirit it’s offered as I have yours. My children attended 4 year Universities and neither of them were able to find work in the field of their major, so they suffered some hard knocks, reinvented themselves and started their own business. Are they great successes? No, not hardly in this current economy, but they do earn enough to support themselves. I have found that the majority of information they acquired was more of an indoctrination of liberal theories (about how life should work according to Garp) than actual useful productive information (about the real world actually does work). Most fortunately for them, their father and I had saved since they were very small (we believed in higher education and are conservatives) and they are not saddled with any loans to pay back. To their credit they also worked while in school or during the summers. They did not attend your school and I’m sure that you are all good people.

    Without border controls we fail to be a sovereign nation. We all lock our doors to prevent becoming a victim of crimes, don’t we? I believe in taking care of my own…first. America seems to have lost the ability, the desire or perhaps the moral fiber to do that. Trump may be rough around the edges for the thin skinned. He beat 16 other people running in the primary without spending a fortune on advertisements. (Brilliant) I am voting for Trump because he’s the best person for the job. He will keep us safe and actually that IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ROLE of the President of the United States. It is not singing KUMBAYA while we lapse into anarchy……………

    This election is historical because it’s not about the Republicans against the Democrats. That divisive tool is burning in the woodstove. This election is about the people vs. the establishment. The rise of Bernie and Trump is born from the disgust Americans feel from leaving our families too long at the mercy of politicians who have been rich in promises and never deliver.

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