Education

New Jersey University Dean Resigns Over Chick-fil-A Ban

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

A New Jersey university dean is resigning after the school banned Chick-fil-A on campus despite it being students’ top pick.

The university said in an email to students in November 2018 that the chain restaurant’s “corporate values have not sufficiently progressed enough to align with those of Rider.” Chick-fil-A has been under scrutiny since 2012 after CEO Dan Kathy defined marriage between a man and a woman.

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Rider’s College of Business Dean Cynthia Newman announced her resignation on Feb. 14 and will go effective on Aug. 31, according to Campus Reform Monday.

“I felt like I was punched in the stomach when I read that statement because I’m a very committed Christian and Chick-fil-A’s values, their corporate purpose statement is to glorify God in and to be faithful stewards in all that is entrusted to them and to have a positive influence on everyone who comes into contact with them and that mirrors my personal beliefs perfectly,” Newman told Campus Reform.

Newman immediately contacted university leadership and asked them to apologize for the “offense in the statement they made to the campus community.” While there was no apology, Newman along with other officials were given talking points to respond to any critics of the university’s ban on Chick-fil-A. (RELATED: Trump Serves Chick-Fil-A Sandwiches And Big Macs To North Dakota Football Players)

Some of the talking points, obtained by Campus Reform, said the following:

  • Openness to different views and beliefs is a fundamental value of the university, as is our belief to be inclusive to all cultures and ways of life, including those in the LGBTQ community
  • We understand that some may disagree with the University’s decision, but please know that it was done with the intent to best promote campus where differences are appreciated, and where members of our community expect to experience dignity and respect
  • This decision required a difficult assessment of competing interests – the desire to bring a new restaurant to campus and our  values of inclusion

Newman said she could not go through with the talking points because the university did not apologize for the offense to Christian values.

She plans to teach marketing as a professor.

“While we respect Dr. Newman’s personal decision, we maintain that the decision about choosing an on-campus restaurant franchise was in no way a judgment on religious values,” Rider’s Associate Vice President for University Marketing & Communications Kristine Brown said to The Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement Tuesday. “Rather, our intention was to foster a sense of respect and belonging of all members of the campus community, including those who identify as LGBTQ+.”

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