Alumni for firing of Pepperdine Dean Pete Peterson

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President Gash and Pepperdine University Leadership,

As alumni of Pepperdine University, we are deeply disappointed, heartbroken, and outraged to learn Pete Peterson, Dean of the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, participated in an October 12th email campaign debasing the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project and a September 3rd radio interview lambasting inclusive historical education. Both actions are described fully in this Pepperdine Graphic article.

As alumni, we stand together against Dean Peterson’s participation in this campaign.

In response, we ask that the University take the following actions:
   1) Officially denounce Dean Peterson’s actions as contrary to the University character and academic standard
   2) End its relationship with Active Engagement and any other politically-based fundraising agencies, and
   3) Terminate Dean Peterson’s employment at the University.

Pepperdine University prides itself on the highest standard of academic excellence. The words and actions of Dean Peterson negates this very foundation and threatens the University’s academic reputation. Academic institutions at their core advance knowledge and promote the innovation of ideas. Such should not be limited by a single dean’s political motivations.

Dean Peterson’s October 12th campaign is markedly political and clearly violates the University Employee Handbook. As stated in Handbook Section 6.6 “Political Activity,” bullet point 2, “political statements may not be made by an employee on behalf of the university without approval by the President, Executive Vice President, or Provost.” Provost Rick Marrs confirmed in Wednesday’s Graphic article that Peterson did not receive such approvals. This makes both Dean Peterson eligible for termination, and it is the responsibility of the University to do so.

As alumni, we stand together against the actions of Dean Peterson. We call for accountability and action.