Facebook post by Paul Ewell of Virginia Wesleyan University
Business school deans can do really dumb things.
Consider Paul Ewell, a Virginian Wesleyan University professor of management, director of the school’s MBA program, and dean of the VWU’s Global Campus for online learners.
A passionate Trump supporter, Ewell has created a firestorm of protest on both the school’s campus and the Internet after his private Facebook post went public. In that post (see above), the professor and dean demanded that all Biden voters unfriend him.
CALLS BIDEN SUPPORTERS ‘IGNORANT, ANTI-AMERICAN AND ANTI-CHRISTIAN’
Professor Paul Ewell
But then, he went off the rails. He denounced everyone who voted for the President-elect as “ignorant, anti-American and anti-Christian.” Ewell then accused them of corrupting not only the election but “our youth … our country.”
It’s not yet clear if Ewell’s Facebook post will cost him his job. But it has certainly created quite a stir. Students are considering protests. Alumni have threatened to withhold donations to the university. Some parents are wondering whether they should take their children out of the school.
Ewell told Poets&Quants in an emailed response that “the comment was directed at some of my Facebook friends after they attacked my faith. I apologized to them and they apologized to me. We forgave each other and moved on. Nothing more. Nothing less.=
The university issued the following statement: “The University is aware of a recent comment made on social media by a member of the campus community. These views and opinions are expressly the individual’s own. Civic engagement and religious freedom are at the core of the University’s values, and we remain an inclusive and caring community that empowers meaningful relationships through listening, understanding, and communication.”
‘THIS MAN IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE ENTIRE VIRGINIA WESLEYAN COMMUNITY’
But students and alums aren’t having it, and some are calling for his head. “What a neutered response to what amounts to very clear hate speech by one of your tenured faculty,” wrote Ryan Shaw on the university’s Facebook page. “As an alumnus of the College, and veteran of the esteemed Religious Studies program, the xenophobic privileged post by “Dr” Ewell turns my stomach and spits in the face of the spirit of 95% of the faculty. We demand more than a milquetoast virtual slap on the wrist to the perpetrator of this attack on the liberal arts tradition of fair minded critical thinking.
“This ‘man’ is an embarrassment to the entire Virginia Wesleyan Community from the youngest freshman to the oldest alumni. I expect to hear of a more ardent and stringent response to this attack on decency. I am proud to not be this person’s friend in any possible context of the term and I hope that the last string of connection (that he works at my alma mater) will be severed post haste.”
Ewell has since taken down his Facebook page. Even though he had set it on private before, someone took a screenshot of the post and circulated it publicly on social media.
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