- Mount St. Mary’s President Simon P. Newman’s detractors are getting pushed out of the university, one by one, as the institution rebounds from national, negative attention to Newman’s retention plan, which was first described in his caustic words by the student newspaper.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education reports Newman asked for and received Provost David B. Rehm’s resignation last week, and two faculty members are being fired — the student newspaper's advisor and a tenured professor who has publicly criticized the administration.
- A third professor, the one who quoted the president saying faculty see at-risk students as “cuddly bunnies” but they need to “drown the bunnies” and “put a Glock to their heads," had his university email deactivated following a request for a meeting with the administration but so far has not been fired.
The turmoil at Mount St. Mary’s University is far from over. The original story in the student newspaper has been followed up on by publications across the country. While the board of trustees maintains full confidence in Newman, an online petition has garnered more than 150 supporters who asked no one face retaliation for their part in the student newspaper article and no one be dismissed in an effort to increase retention numbers.
Newman’s focus on improving retention is one that institutions across the country are thinking about as funding and prestige are tied to the metric. While no students were asked to leave because they were deemed poor fits after arriving on campus, the level of scrutiny on the Maryland university’s retention strategies in the years to come is sure to be high.