Dear Commons Community,
The Rutgers University New Brunswick Faculty Council approved a resolution yesterday urging the university’s Board of Governors to rescind its invitation to Condoleeza Rice to speak at commencement. The Board of Governors voted earlier this month to award an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to Rice, who served as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. She will be paid $35,000 for her commencement address. According to the Star-Ledger/New Jersey News:
“…the faculty council cited her war record and her misleading of the public about the Iraq war as reasons for their opposition.
“Condoleezza Rice … played a prominent role in (the Bush) administration’s effort to mislead the American people about the presence of weapons of mass destruction,” according to the resolution. And she “at the very least condoned the Bush administration’s policy of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ such as waterboarding,” it said.
“A Commencement speaker… should embody moral authority and exemplary citizenship,” it continued, and “an honorary Doctor of Laws degree should not honor someone who participated in a political effort to circumvent the law.”
Though a largely symbolic measure, the resolution is intended to voice the opposition on campus. Several petitions are circulating, one with at least 100 faculty signatures, some faculty said.”
This isn’t the first time that Dr. Rice created a controversy at a commencement. In 2006, while giving the commencement address at Boston College, students and faculty stood and turned their backs to her.
Congratulations are in order for the stance that the Rutger’s faculty have taken in their opposition to Dr. Rice.