USC professor to CNN: University officials have failed students and faculty

USC professor to CNN: University officials have failed students and faculty

University of Southern California administrators are failing students and faculty encouraged by the institution to speak their minds, said Mike Ananny, PHD, an associate professor of communication and journalism at USC who has recently criticized university leaders over their handling of campus demonstrations.

On Thursday, Ananny wrote an open letter published in the student publication, the Daily Trojan, stating that he no longer trusts the school’s provost, Andrew Guzman, and its president, Carol Folt, after seeing how they handled what he called peaceful protests, especially on Wednesday.

Nearly 100 people were arrested after the university ordered protesters at the campus’ Alumni Park to disperse, CNN previously reported.

“The protesters were peacefully at the university expressing their right to speak and doing all the things we ask our students to do,” he said. “We want them to be engaged and passionate citizens who care about their world.”

Ananny cited the university’s decision last week to cancel asna Tabassum’s commencement speech due to security concerns as the catalyst for the pro-Palestinian protests. This week, the university also canceled its main-level commencement ceremony set for next month – further eroding trust between administrators and the university community, Ananny claimed.

“The university needs to trust its students, trust its faculty to do the work that we know how to do,” he said. “We know how to have this conversation – let us do it.”

Ananny said she has not received a response from Folt to her open letter.

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