Should Chancellor Agrawal resign?

“As far as I’m concerned, he should go,” stated Missouri State Sen. David Sater.

Sen. Sater, along with fellow Republican lawmaker Rep. Justin Hill, has publicly called for Chancellor Agrawal to either resign, or in Hill’s case, be removed from office. Others have called for a decrease in UMKC’s funding.

These declarations echo feelings of discontent some have regarding Agrawal’s response to the protests at an on-campus event hosted by guest speaker Michael Knowles.

I for one, am in agreement.

I am discontent with how this situation has been handled.

We differ, however, in that my frustration is not because of Agrawal’s actions.

My frustration arises out of how Sen. Sater and Rep. Hill handled this situation.

Rep. Hill chose to create a resolution in the hopes it would result in Agrawal’s removal rather than devote time and effort that could be used to better serve his constituents.

Hill has wasted his own time, and that of his constituents, so that he could do no more than politically grandstand and blow a well-handled situation out of proportion.

Agrawal’s statement following the incident was, in my opinion, one of the best responses someone in such a predicament could make.

He praised those who protested peacefully and denounced any that resorted to violence. Agrawal also outlined that, regardless of a large sentiment that Knowles’ views are less than inclusive, the university has a legal obligation to allow the free expression and exchange of ideas.

In his email, Agrawal effectively responded to both the progressive and conservative complaints, acknowledging the dislike of the speaker’s presence but also explaining its necessity.

Could the chancellor have more strongly condemned the act? Yes, he could have.

However, the way individuals like Hill and Sater have chosen to blatantly misrepresent Agrawal’s praise of peaceful protest as an act of commendation for those who, in Agrawal’s own words, “crossed a line,” is disingenuous and a harmful way to further an already growing political divide in this country.

As a student at UMKC, I am more than happy to stand behind the chancellor’s straightforward and balanced response, and I am similarly more than happy to condemn the dishonest effort made by these politicians to oust a man who has done nothing more in his time at UMKC than try to enact positive change.

I also find it abhorrent that we live in a world where at the same time college expenses are at an all-time high, an elected official would call for a decrease in public funding to a university, an action which would only serve to harm students seeking an already costly higher education. The notion that any official would opt to punish a student body because of a political disagreement with the administration is, quite frankly, an appalling and disheartening statement about the nature of political discourse in the U.S.

While it seems unlikely that Agrawal will actually face any repercussions, particularly following University of Missouri System President Mun Choi’s announcement that he will not fire the chancellor, the fact that this situation occurred is ridiculous in and of itself.

ccwykr@mail.umkc.edu

2 Comments

  1. Chris D

    April 26, 2019 at 8:24 PM

    I concur 100%.

    The question being asked by these senator and representative lead me to believe they have an inherent bias towards a liberal academician or do they have an issue because of his ethnic status and minority background?

    Why don’t these Republicans hold Mr. Trump to the same standard? While Agrawal explicitly condemned violence against free speech, the commander in chief blatantly encourages violence against anyone who dares to protest at his rallies. Is there a different standard to hold him against? And if so, why?

    Let us stop these politicians from advancing their own agenda against qualified people and hold them accountable to serving their constituents, which is what they are elected to do.

  2. Josh

    April 29, 2019 at 11:46 AM

    Garbage article. Liberals and Conservatives alike will unite against nut jobs like yourself. YOUR views are less than inclusive, how you could see it the other way only speaks to your intelligence.

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