Anger Over DeVos as U Baltimore Commencement Speaker

September 11, 2017

Betsy DeVos is set to speak at the University of Baltimore’s fall 2017 commencement.

The announcement comes as the education secretary has irked some in the education field -- while earning praise from conservatives -- by promoting “school choice” policies, announcing a re-write of Obama-era sexual-assault regulations and suspended some Obama-era student-loan regulations.

In a statement to local media, university executive vice president and provost Darlene Brannigan Smith defended choosing DeVos, although student government leaders apparently were not included in the discussion. 

"Throughout our nearly 100-year history, UB has pursued a commitment to intellectual engagement and an array of opinions; this is a foundational goal at our institution and is today expressed in our invitation to the Secretary to speak to and get to know our community."

DeVos was booed by some students when she delivered a spring commencement address at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black university in Florida. Nearly 2,500 people have signed a petition asking the University of Baltimore to find another commencement speaker.

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