HomeCampusContract extended for chancellor who mocked Asian accent

Contract extended for chancellor who mocked Asian accent

The controversial chancellor of Purdue Northwest in Indiana will serve another year before resigning, reports Inside Indiana Business.

Calls for Thomas Keon to resign erupted after he mocked an Asian accent during a graduation ceremony in December.

RELATED: Chancellor apologizes for racist Asian language impression

His contract has reportedly been extended one more year until 2024 while the university forms a search committee to find his replacement.

The incident in December lead the Faculty Senate to overwhelmingly demand Keon’s resignation. Leaders in the Asian American community as far away as California called for the university to fire him.

RELATED: Asian American groups call for firing of chancellor for mocking Asians

Despite the outcry, Purdue trustees continued to back Keon saying he had apologized.

Keon’s critics remain angry and feel they are being ignored by Purdue Northwest.

“This decision by a privileged few to protect one of their own further alienates members of our minority communities,” said Purdue University Northwest Senate Chair, Thomas J. Roach in a statement sent to AsAmNews. “I hope it is clear to everyone that the board’s decision in no way reflects the wishes of the majority of faculty on the Purdue campuses.”

Keon has not addressed the controversy directly since word spread that his contract had been extended.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve as the Chancellor of Purdue University Northwest these past 12 years,” Keon said in a letter on the university’s website. “As you may know, the Purdue University system has a policy limiting how long one can serve in leadership positions. I have appreciated and enjoyed serving Purdue Northwest, its students, faculty, staff, and community and I will continue to do so for the next year and beyond.”

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  1. That extension is a slap in the face to every Asian person and the Senate Faculty who voted no-confidence in Keon. Keon hasn’t learned anything and hasn’t made any effort to change. If he insulted any other racial group, he would be gone. But mocking Asians is rewarded with an extension to be the longest serving chancellor in decades and conversion to a faculty position after that.

    According to the Urban League of NWI, Keon says he is the victim and no one will listen to the truth. The Urban League took instant action and asked Keon to resign from their board of trustees. When Keon refused to resign, they removed him. At Hamlin university, the faculty voted no-confidence in their president due to leadership actions that created public backlash and damaged their reputation. The president of Hamlin university resigned. That is what reputable organizations are supposed to do.

    But at Purdue, its president and board of trustees excuse racism, ignore their own faculty, and reward the racist. Keon, the president and the board of trustees should all be removed. This has gone on long enough.


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