Education Secretary John B. King Jr. urged university leaders Tuesday to be sure that students do not feel harassed or intimidated in the wake of a divisive election that has left "many of our students feeling vulnerable." He spoke in Austin Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
King said that all students, regardless of race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or gender identity, deserve to be treated with respect. Higher education leaders need to send "a clear message" that campuses will not tolerate harassment, that "diversity is a value" and that they will "respond aggressively to places where safety is violated," he said.
In remarks that appeared related to this year's election results, King noted that the Morrill Act, which created the land-grant system, was signed into law by President Lincoln, but had been vetoed by President Buchanan (at right) in the previous administration. Of the Buchanan veto, he said that "our democracy does not always produce leaders with the right judgment."