Dozens of faculty at Eastern Kentucky University sign letter opposing Trump ahead of rally

Dozens of faculty at Eastern Kentucky University sign letter opposing Trump ahead of rally
© Getty Images

Dozens of faculty and staff members at Eastern Kentucky University have sent a letter to the school’s president in opposition to President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau intends to wrap up count on Oct. 5 despite judge's order Top House Republican calls for probe of source of NYT Trump tax documents New Yorkers report receiving ballots with wrong name, voter addresses MORE.

The letter, with over 100 signatures, comes days before Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally on the university’s campus.

The faculty letter does not oppose the rally itself, but condemns Trump and the campaign he ran, saying it is against to the university’s values. It also raises concerns about “disruption” to student life from the rally.

“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 letter reads.


The faculty express concerns about Trump's approach to science, immigration, and civil rights, in addition to “threatening rhetoric.”

“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,” the letter reads.

A spokeswoman for the university told the Louisville Courier Journal that university president Michael Benson has corresponded with some faculty members about the letter, but declined to comment further.

The school urged calm in a statement: “We understand this election season has been filled with a number of passionately debated issues, and we encourage our community to remain civil and respectful of differing political opinions in the discourse surrounding the rally."

Gerald Nachtwey, a faculty member who helped write the letter, told the Courier Journal that it was written after students said they were “frightened and confused” about the rally.

"Fundamentally we saw the audience for the letter as being the student body and people in the community in and around Richmond," Nachtwey said.

Trump will hold a rally at the school’s Alumni Coliseum on Saturday, the first time a sitting president has visited the university. The Donald J. Trump for President campaign is renting the space, according to the university’s website.