Two University of Virginia historians resigned their posts at the school’s center for public policy and presidential scholarship on Monday after the university hired a former Trump aide.
UVA scholars Melvyn P. Leffler and William I. Hitchcock quit the school’s Miller Center after the center hired Marc Short, who previously served as President Donald Trump’s legislative affairs director, reported Politico.
“Short has been a partisan activist during his entire professional career,” Leffler and Hitchcock wrote in a public, joint resignation letter. “He has associated himself with people and institutions who disregard, circumvent and even violate the norms and laws that are fundamental to civil discourse and democratic politics.”
While the two scholars resigned their posts at the Miller Center, they will both stay on as history faculty at UVA. Leffler and Hitchcock bashed Trump for his blaming of “both sides” after the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“By not speaking out at the time, by not emphasizing the threats to human decency posed by the public display of Nazi symbols and racist diatribes in our own neighborhood, Mr. Short was complicit in the erosion of our civic discourse and showed an appalling indifference to the civility of our own city and university,” the professors said.
Leffler and Hitchcock’s resignation comes following UVA students and professors’ signing of multiple petitions protesting the Miller Center’s decision. (RELATED: University Of Virginia: If You See ‘Offensive Flyers,’ Call 911)
“While we do not object to dialogue with members of this administration, we do object to the use of our university to clean up their tarnished reputations,” one petition states. “No one should be serving at the highest levels of this administration, daily supporting and defending its actions one week, then representing UVA the next.”
Miller Center director William Antholis said “the loss of any Miller Center faculty or staff member saddens me” and defended the hiring of Short earlier in July.
Short “brings a missing critical voice — one that represents members of Congress and the Republican Party who continue to support the president in large numbers.”
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