While the presidents of several U.S. universities have openly criticized the Trump administration’s policies and top advisors, few have been more outspoken than the president of Trinity Washington University, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway’s alma mater.
In a blog post published Feb. 12 on the university’s website, Trinity Washington President Patricia McGuire wrote that Conway is "part of a team that thinks nothing of shaping and spreading a skein of lies as a means to secure power."
“Presidential Counselor Kellyanne Conway, Trinity Class of 1989, has played a large role in facilitating the manipulation of facts and encouraging the grave injustice being perpetrated by the Trump Administration’s war on immigrants among many other issues,” McGuire wrote.
McGuire’s strong stance is unusual for someone in her position in higher education, as many university presidents shy away from taking open political stances in fear of losing funding from alumni, The Washington Post reported.
President Amy Gutmann made a public statement about President Donald Trump for the first time when she condemned his immigration ban in January.
Conway told the Post that she was taken aback by her alma mater’s public criticism of her.
“It’s a disappointment to have the president of the university lift up other Trinity graduates who have a casual relationship with the truth,” Conway said to the Post, “attack me, and never have the courtesy of calling or emailing me to ask what I meant on any given occasion.”
The university also criticized its alumna on social media.
“@KellyannePolls about to be interviewed by @TODAYshow to explain Michael Flynn’s resignation? Interesting choice given her #alternativefacts,” the university tweeted on Feb. 14.
Conway described Trinity's position “a very narrowly subscribed political viewpoint” to the Post.
However, McGuire told the Post that her views have nothing to do with politics.
“People can agree or disagree around national policy or domestic policy … But when you lie so consistently as this administration does, that’s a moral issue,” McGuire said . “In offering criticism, it’s meant to be a call to a higher standard of behavior.”
McGuire also added in an interview with Inside Higher Ed that although she understands that it is difficult for those in higher education to take political positions, she would like to see a greater number of university presidents speak out more forcefully on these topics.
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