The committee told CNN that the Purdue University Northwestern University (PNW) Faculty Senate Executive Committee issued a letter calling for the resignation of Chancellor Thomas L. Keene following offensive remarks at commencement earlier this month .
A video posted on PNW’s official YouTube page shows Keon taking the podium after a commencement speaker’s speech on Dec. 10 and saying something that is clearly made up. As the crowd laughed, he said “That’s my Asian version of his…” seemingly referring to the previous speaker.
On December 14, Keon issued a public apology on PNW’s Twitter page. “I made an offensive and insensitive comment. I apologize for my unexpected, off-the-cuff response to another speaker,” Keane said. I assure you that I have no intention of harming others and my comments do not reflect my personal or our institutional values. ”
However, on Dec. 16, the university’s faculty Senate executive committee unanimously decided to call for Keon’s resignation after discussions.
According to Dave Nalbone, a professor of psychology at the university and vice-chair of the Senate Executive Committee on Faculty, the committee sent a letter to the chancellor the same day asking him to resign.
“We asked him then and later to respond to our demands for his resignation; to date, we have heard nothing from him,” Narbon said in a statement to CNN.
In a letter sent to Keon, the committee noted that Keon made offensive statements that insulted the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and sparked national and international outrage.
The committee also wrote that Keene’s actions did “do not reflect the diversity and inclusion that Purdue’s faculty, staff and students value.”
Nalbone said the committee planned to hold a vote of no confidence, the result of which should be announced by Tuesday night. Voting results do not necessarily have an immediate impact. Unless he decides to resign, the only person with the power to remove him will be the board of directors or the president, Nalbone said.
CNN has reached out to President Keane and Purdue University’s board of trustees for comment.