“Mr Trump has made a number of statements that are wholly incompatible with the ethos and values of the university.”
Donald Trump’s recurring use of anti-Muslim rhetoric in his presidential campaign has caused a Scottish university to strip him of an honorary degree.
At the time of the endowment, Professor John Harper, the University’s acting principal and vice chancellor, said: “Given that business and entrepreneurship lie at the heart of much of the university’s academic offering, it is only fitting to award Mr Trump with an honorary degree.
“He is recognised as one of the world’s top businessmen and our students – the entrepreneurs of tomorrow – can learn much from his business acumen, drive and focus.”
Yesterday however, a representative of the University took to social media to announce the institution would be renouncing the degree on account of his comments being “wholly incompatible” with School’s spirit.
“In 2010, Robert Gordon University awarded an honorary DBA to Mr Donald Trump,” said the Spokesman. “In the course of the current US election campaign, Mr Trump has made a number of statements that are wholly incompatible with the ethos and values of the university. The university has therefore decided to revoke its award of the honorary degree.”
New statement about Donald Trump’s honorary degree: pic.twitter.com/mMJt9qXNOv
— RobertGordonUni (@RobertGordonUni) December 9, 2015
The decision was made after a public petition, launched as an attempt to take back the award, gained more than 70,000 signatures.
“We feel that Donald Trump’s unrepentant, persistent verbal attacks on various groups of people based on nationality, religion, race and physical abilities are a huge detriment to RGU,” wrote creators of the campaign, “Hate speech must not have a place in academia, in politics or on the world stage. We are confident RGU will agree with petitioners, and act swiftly.”
A large proportion of the University’s students voiced their outrage regarding Trump’s controversial statements. One student condemned the award, writing: “I worked so hard to get my degree in Aberdeen I feel it’s insulting to graduates to have the same title handed out to this idiot!”
— Beatriz M. Pais (@83_beatrix) December 10, 2015
The news came just two days after Trump called for a ban on all Muslims entering the US “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”, following the recent mass shooting in San Bernadino, California.
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has also stripped Trump of his title as the country’s Business Ambassador following the comments made on Monday.
A previous First Minister, Jack McConnell, selected Trump as a GlobalScot Ambassador in 2006, but Trump’s “recent remarks have shown he is no longer fit to be a business ambassador for Scotland,” according to a spokeswoman for the Scottish government.
Wow, what a day. So many foolish people that refuse to acknowledge the tremendous danger and uncertainty of certain people coming into U.S.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2015
Trump possesses at least one more honorary Doctor of Business from Liberty University, awarded for his “unwavering and public commitment to our nation’s founding principles of limited government, individual liberty, and the free enterprise system, and in further recognition of his iconic status as one of America’s most successful visionaries and entrepreneurs.”, though it remains unclear whether RGU is the first institution to revoke such recognition.
The republican candidate inspired a campaign calling for him to be banned from entering the UK, which has already reached over 400,000 signatures, and has sparked an international row over social media:
Yes of course. Trump is a fascist.
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) December 9, 2015
How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad. https://t.co/hFO0XmOpPH
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 8, 2015
Donald Trump is unhinged. His “policy” proposals are not serious.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 7, 2015
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 8, 2015
Have any of the 200k+ Brits who’ve signed the petition to ban Trump signed any petition to ban UK terror suspects returning from Iraq/Syria?
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 9, 2015
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) December 9, 2015
— King Bob (@CNBH22) December 10, 2015
@Independent As most Americans and Brits agree it’s just common sense. To protect the general population.
— DaveNorthernLad (@DaveWarren7) December 10, 2015
Image via AP Images.