Faculty respond to Trump event

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


14 Comments on Faculty respond to Trump event

  1. Thanks to all the signers of this letter, I support all of the thoughts expressed in this letter.
    My own thoughts are that Donald Trump is a dangerous threat to me, my family, my university, my country and Our Mother Earth

    I pray for Donald and his family, he most be a very disturbed person.

  2. In Communication, Public Speaking and Rhetoric, words are like swords and should be used very carefully in Public Service professions. Thank you to the professors at our University who signed this and teach how to have a better civil discourse!

  3. Thank you faculty and staff. As the father of two incoming freshmen students, I am thankful for your response and views on this visit. It adds peace of mind and confidence for us back in the University that we have chosen to attend. We hope that today’s events go forward in peace and respect for each other in the world.
    We appreciate you putting this forward and thankful for your opinions.

    Eric Gonzales
    Father of two new UCCS Students this fall

  4. Thank you for not just ignoring him. He is,in my opinion, more dangerous than the groups towards which he is seeking to inspire fear.

  5. Half of Trump Supporters are racists
    The other half……just plain ignorants
    Trump is the most dangerous and he will bring us to a War

  6. I had the privilege of living in Colorado springs for a short time so the article caught my eye when a friend posted this article on facebook. I’d like to thank all of the faculty for having the courage to address this issue in such an elegant way. Thank you again for your magnificent words.

  7. Well said , this election is crucial, to protect all the values that represent our country. It supersedes allegiance to any one party. We must elect Hiliary Clinton.

  8. Name calling is extremely unprofessional. Referring a colleague as racist and/or ignorant is uncalled for.
    We do not all agree, and that is our right.
    Respect is asked of all who comment.

  9. As a father of an incoming freshman I was very satisfied with the message from Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak regarding the use of the college facilities. The unfounded notion that a “Trump Event” constitutes an “issue” for faculty, students or staff is absurd. Universities should not ever limit the free expression of ideals and should encourage differing points of view while promoting understanding of various viewpoints that molded classical western civilization. Any utopian desires, platitudes or political opinions of faculty associated with this election cycle is irrelevant to the mission of the University and does not serve the interest of the student body and community. Whether the faculty signers of the letter to the chancellor are leftist, passively concerned or just supportive is not important so long as our sons and daughters are taught without bias to learn their respective subjects while seeing the world as it is and not how many would like to see it. We send our children to college with a reasonable expectation that they receive an education with open minds in the classical liberal arts tradition without any extreme political indoctrination or suppression of free expression.

  10. It’s so comforting to see that so many people in the field of education take what is and has been happening in this country, throughout their adult lives, so serious as to step forwards and challenge the unethical behavior of … our corrupt government. If you need citations go read the news (what’s reported about it anyways). I think it’s delusional.
    Am I wrong here?

  11. Oh, I guess I should be realistic here and expect my voice to be silenced by those who know better. I was just seeking affirmation. Thank you moderator.
    [posted in response to previous post.]

  12. Thank you to the signers of this letter. After seeing this letter we are considering UCCS for our daughter for next year. If only more of us would speak out.

  13. Would we be better off as a country if we had elected a Democrat and permitted the expansion of the vast corruption that has been exposed? While we may not like how Trump says things we all would benefit if we listens to what he says.

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