Higher ed leaders blast Trump, ‘coup’ in Washington

One leader calls the violence 'nothing less than an attempted coup'
By: | January 7, 2021
(GettyImages/Tim Graham)

Leaders from across the higher education system reacted with horror Thursday to the attack by followers of outgoing President Donald Trump on the U.S. Capitol building.

The promise of the new year “was tainted yesterday by appalling acts of hatred, ignorance and utter disdain for democracy,” said Jack E. Daniels, III, president of Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin

“I view these actions as horrible, made all the more so by the fact that such tactics were spurred on by individuals who are supposed to lead and protect us,” Daniels said. “There is a difference between peaceful protest—a hallmark of our democracy—and violent actions meant to overturn election results.”

Barbara Snyder, president of the Association of American Universities, was sharper in her response, calling the violence “nothing less than an attempted coup.”


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She urged Trump and his supporters in Congress to denounce the violence.

“Every American should be horrified and humiliated by what is happening in the very seat of our democracy,” she said on Wednesday. “America operates on the rule of law, not mob rule.”

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto described Wednesday’s violence “as unsettling a day for our country as most of us can ever remember.”

Still, Capilouto expressed optimism about the successful completion of the Presidential election and “the genius of our system of self-governance.”

“As a long night began to yield to a new day, we were reminded, too, that fundamental values endure: a belief in free and fair elections, a commitment to the peaceful transfer of power, the foundational idea that the responsibilities of democratic citizenship in our society must prevail,” Capilouto said.


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