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Commencement Speaker Withdraws at Haverford
May 14, 2014

Haverford College announced Tuesday that Robert Birgeneau, the former chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, had decided not to deliver the commencement address there. Some students had objected because of the way Berkeley campus police responded to some protests while Birgeneau was chancellor. Critics said that nonviolent protesters were treated much more roughly than was appropriate. In a letter to Haverford students and faculty members, President Daniel Weiss noted that Birgeneau took many significant actions at Berkeley, including an effort to help undocumented students that he planned to discuss at Haverford. "It is nonetheless deeply regrettable that we have lost an opportunity to recognize and hear from one of the most consequential leaders in American higher education," Weiss wrote. "Though we may not always agree with those in positions of leadership, I believe that it is essential for us as members of an academic community to reaffirm our shared commitment to the respectful and mindful process by which we seek to learn through inquiry and intellectual engagement."

The news from Haverford follows the withdrawal of high profile speakers for commencement at Smith College and Rutgers University.

 

 

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