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Penn law dean blasts professor for ‘repugnant’ comments on immigration

Dean says professor does not speak for law school

The University of Pennsylvania Law School is openly condemning a professor for her controversial comments regarding race and immigration at a conservative conference.

Amy Wax’s remarks at the inaugural National Conservatism Conference “[a]t best espouse a bigoted theory of white cultural and ethnic supremacy; at worst, they are racist,” Dean Ted Ruger wrote in a statement Tuesday.

No stranger to controversy, Wax told the conference the United States should favor immigration from “first world” and western countries and shy away from accepting immigrants from developing or poor countries.

“Under any framing, such views are repugnant to the core values and institutional practices of both Penn Law and the University of Pennsylvania,” Ruger said.

Wax’s comments had drawn the ire of a Vox reporter who accused Wax of making an argument for white supremacy. They went viral and prompted a petition by several identity-based law student groups, asking Penn Law to revoke her teaching responsibilities, which “serve to further her platform and lend her legitimacy.” (The petition didn’t mention her tenure.)

Ruger’s statement did not disclose if Wax would be punished for her comments. “Past episodes have made clear that when Professor Wax speaks about race and culture, she does not speak for this institution or those who work and study here,” he wrote.

“I know these statements by Professor Wax have caused pain and outrage to many in the Penn community,” he continued:

My colleagues and I pledge to work with you so that together we can heal, and learn from this experience and each other. That students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds are flourishing at this school and in their subsequent careers is an unassailable rebuke to those who question their full participation in our academic enterprise and our nation.

Wax told Inside Higher Ed that a transcript from the conference would be released later this week but otherwise declined to comment.

Neither Ruger nor Penn Law has provided statistical evidence to rebut Wax’s earlier claim that black students at the law school have not graduated in the top quarter of their class, in her memory.

Ruger claimed she invented the statistics, and she was banned from teaching mandatory first-year classes in retaliation. But the law school has ignored College Fix requests to specify the correct figures for black student performance.

Read Ruger’s statement and Inside Higher Ed report.

MORE: Princeton debate club disinvited conservative Prof. Amy Wax from event dedicated to free speech

MORE: Vox says Penn professor promoted white supremacy at conservatism conference. I was there and it’s wrong.

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