December 22, 2022

Statement from Trustee Chair Mike Berghoff, re: PNW Chancellor remarks

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Each member of the Purdue Board of Trustees has had the opportunity to review the entirety of the Dec. 10 commencement at Purdue University Northwest to examine the context of Chancellor Keon’s remark. Each has concluded that, in addition to its being extremely offensive and insensitive (as Dr. Keon himself has acknowledged in his apology), this offhand attempt at humor was in poor taste, unbecoming of his role as chancellor, and unacceptable for an occasion that should be remembered solely for its celebratory and unifying atmosphere. The Board has therefore issued a formal reprimand to Dr. Keon. 

Although in the Trustees' estimation, this 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 university does not intend to comment further on this personnel matter.

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