Some faculty sign letter urging against disciplinary action for Saturday's protesters

More than 60 faculty members have signed a letter urging administrators not to pursue disciplinary action against Saturday's protesters.

Stephen Bryan, associate dean of students and director of the Office of Student Conduct, sent an email Monday to students involved in Saturday’s disruption of President Vincent Price’s address to alumni, stating that OSC is “launching an inquiry into this matter in order to determine whether to proceed with possible university disciplinary action." 

William Chafe, Alice Mary Baldwin professor emeritus of history, and Robert Korstad, professor of public policy and history, announced Thursday evening that dozens of faculty members have signed on to a letter they wrote asking the administration not to punish the students.

"As teachers of undergraduates here at Duke University, we, the undersigned faculty members, urge the Duke administration not to pursue disciplinary action against those who took part in student protests at the Reunion week-end on April 14th," the letter states, with original emphasis. "Rather, we propose that discussions proceed over the next six months to find common ground on how to address the issues that were raised."

The letter—addressed to President Vincent Price, Provost Sally Kornbluth and Deans Valerie Ashby, Kelly Brownell, Arlie Petters and Ravi Bellamkonda—asks administrators "to try to resolve these issues through discussion [rather] than to risk continued conflict between students and the university’s administration."

"A remarkable similarity exists between the demands of the Vigil Class of 1968, the demands made by black students the next year, and the demands made by student protestors every few years since then, including in 2016 and 2018," the letter states.

Faculty sign letter supporting protesters

This story was updated at 10:40 p.m. to include the faculty members who have signed the letter at that time. Check back for updates to this developing story.


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