WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wednesday was a long day for some Wichita State University students as they awaited the fate of President Dr. Jay Golden.
The Kansas Board of Regents held a special meeting about Golden’s future after he recently came under fire for canceling Ivanka Trump’s commencement speech at WSU Tech. He made her one of 30 speakers instead.
Some donors reportedly threatened to stop funding the school because of the move, believing it infringed on freedom of speech. Grant Colpine, WSU College Republicans President, says that is not the case.
“We believe that it was a gross misrepresentation of Dr. Golden’s character and his agenda thus far here at Wichita State to say that he was infringing upon free speech and that he doesn’t care for it and this institution doesn’t stand for intellectual diversity,” he said.
Amira Coleman decided to start a petition as a way to show her support, after all the support he has shown the student body all year.
“This is his first year on campus and really I’ve felt more support from him in this past year than I felt from our previous president in the other two years I spent going to school here,” she said.
Rija Khan, WSU Student Body President, asked the president of the board for clarification.
“I asked them, ‘Does that mean President Golden will remain the president of Wichita State University?’ to which he answered yes,” she said.
Colpine wants to reassure donors and community members that Wichita State is not censoring students’ freedom of speech.
“This place is a place in which we have administration and people at the top who do care about freedom of speech and have made it abundantly clear that we have the right to speak up for whatever values we have,” he said.
Dr. Golden released a statement after the KBOR meeting.
“I stand with the Kansas Board of Regents in its support for freedom of speech and for diversity and inclusion. I look forward to continuing our efforts in advancing the mission and vision of Wichita State University for all of Shocker Nation,” he said.
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