Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Morehouse College faculty vote to award Biden an honorary doctorate

By 37ci3 May16,2024

ATLANTA – The Morehouse College faculty has voted to award President Joe Biden an honorary doctorate at an upcoming graduation ceremony. scheduled to deliver the commencement address.

But dozens of faculty either voted against the honor or abstained because they were disappointed by some of the president’s policies and the school’s decision to accept him as commencement speaker.

The proposal to award Biden an honorary degree passed 50-38, with about a dozen faculty members abstaining, according to two faculty members on the call.

The White House declined to comment, and Morehouse did not respond to a request for comment.

Morehouse leadership announced his plans For Biden to receive the honorary degree last month, he said he was first admitted in September, before the historically Black college invited Biden to serve as commencement speaker.

However, procedurally, administration officials overlooked a key step in the process the faculty must vote to allow the decision.

“It should be clarified that the final decision to vote to award Biden an honorary degree is not in question due to current political issues. The decision to call for a faculty vote is due to a mishandling of the process that traditionally includes a faculty vote in September,” Morehouse said in a statement last week.

And yet, with the new timing of the vote—the appearance of protests over the war in Gaza on college campuses nationwide—a routine faculty vote has become a tool for staff: once againThey said they were against Biden’s visit.

A week before the vote, a small group of faculty members circulated a letter opposing the honorary degree, citing Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza.

“We are usually honored to have the most powerful elected official in the world speak at Morehouse. “However, the remarkable policies of the United States government are currently responsible for the suffering of millions of people around the planet,” the letter reads.

said Cedric Richmond, co-chairman of the Biden-Harris re-election campaign and a Morehouse graduate. Biden ‘deserves’ recognition by Morehouse, citing her track record from appointing the first black woman to the Supreme Court to overseeing the lowest black unemployment rate in history.

“In my eyes, he’s earned an honorary degree,” Richmond said.

Morehouse in response to some continued opposition to Biden’s campus visit arranged a meeting last week between a small group of students and faculty and Steve Benjamin, who heads the White House Office of Public Affairs.

Some attendees expressed concern over the controversy over Biden’s policies toward Israel and his handling of the war in the Gaza Strip, and asked Benjamin to ensure that the president’s commencement address does not become a campaign speech.

A White House source familiar with Biden’s commencement speech plans said the president will “focus on the students” during his speech while also using the speech to “address their concerns.”

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By 37ci3

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