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Rider Dean Steps Down Over Chick-Fil-A Slight

March 6, 2019
 
 

A Rider University business school dean who describes herself as a "very committed Christian" is stepping down after the university blocked a Chick-Fil-A restaurant from opening on campus.

Cynthia Newman, dean of Rider's College of Business Administration, said the university's decision clashed with her beliefs, NJ.com reported.

In a Feb. 14 letter to faculty, Newman said she would resign from her role as dean in September but will continue teaching.

The fast-food chain has generated controversy due to its president's stance against same-sex marriage, which has earned it boycotts and demonstrations as well as same-sex "kiss days" at locations nationwide.

After Rider distributed surveys asking students which fast-food providers they wanted on campus, Chick-Fil-A emerged as a top contender. But a second survey left the chain out -- Rider later explained that it had been removed based on the company’s record of being "widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community."

In November, Rider said the chain's corporate values "have not sufficiently progressed enough to align with those of Rider."

University spokeswoman Kristine Brown said the decision isn't an attack on Christian members of the community. "Rather, our intention was to foster a sense of respect and belonging of all members of the campus community, including those who identify as LGBTQ+," she said.

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