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Dean's Sudden Removal Angers Faculty

September 3, 2020

Mark Kornbluh, the longtime dean of the University of Kentucky's College of Arts and Sciences, says he was removed from his position without being given a reason why and asked to sign a prewritten resignation letter containing an unspecified "generous offer" -- or face termination, according to

“I said that after 11 years, I deserved a reason,” Kornbluh reportedly wrote in the letter to the faculty Wednesday. “I asked for the rest of the day to look at the papers and think it over.” But in the Monday meeting, Kornbluh said, Provost David Blackwell “indicated that I had to sign immediately, or the offer was off the table and he would terminate me. I said that I deserved to be treated better than that and left.”

The university announced that Kornbluh, a historian, will return to the faculty but did not share any information about why he was apparently demoted. Twenty-nine department chairs signed a letter opposing Kornbluh’s removal, expressing their “profound dismay and disappointment,” also reported. “As a college, we are stronger because of Dean Kornbluh’s leadership, which was built on cornerstones of innovation, shared governance, accessibility, and compassion,” the chairs wrote.

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