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College official at Purdue reprimanded for making a joke about Asians



Hammond, Indiana – Purdue University announced on Thursday that the Board of Trustees had issued an official reprimand to the senior official of its campuses in northwestern Indiana for his ridiculing of Asian languages during a recent commencement ceremony.

Despite the fact that Chancellor Thomas Keon apologized for his imitation of a made-up language with an Asian-sounding accent during the event on December 10, the faculty senate at Purdue University Northwest has called for his resignation.

The university’s statement released Thursday called Keon’s action an “offhand attempt at humor” that was “extremely offensive and insensitive.” The statement said while the “offensive remark does not reflect a pattern of behavior or a system of beliefs held by Dr. Keon, the Board has made clear to him that a repeat incident of a similar nature would provide grounds for further Board action, including possible dismissal.”

The chairman of the faculty senate, Thomas Roach, stated that 87 percent of faculty members who answered a poll this week chose to have no confidence in Keon and questioned why Purdue officials were supporting him. Roach is responsible for overseeing the faculty senate.

“No university faculty should be represented by somebody that they don’t accept,” Roach said.

On its campuses in Hammond and Westville, Purdue Northwest is home to around 9,000 students.

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