It is time for the board of trustees of Mount Saint Mary’s to stand up for first principles. First, colleges are properly judged by student success. Admissions criteria should be focused on admitting students who can succeed. It is then the school’s duty to work diligently to ensure that they do so. The board needs to demand an active and effective commitment to this goal. Second, academic success is properly the concern of the entire college community and an area of special responsibility for the faculty. Firing faculty and demoting the provost for objecting to the president’s plan is a grave violation of America’s long history of academic freedom. It can only bring disgrace to the institution. As fiduciaries, trustees need to intervene promptly and protect the right of faculty to have a voice in decisions affecting the academic quality of their institution.
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