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SLU: Father Biondi Says "We Share a Common Goal," Amid Renewed Calls for His Resignation

trustees-do-whats-right.jpg
via Facebook
Past protest of Biondi.
In a lengthy response to a string of controversies and negative media coverage over the last two weeks, Father Lawrence Biondi, the embattled president of Saint Louis University, sent out a campus-wide message defending his recent actions and saying, "We cannot forget that we share a common goal."

The number one goal, however, of the faculty and students who are protesting on campus right now is that Biondi step down -- immediately.

In his message, which was sent out yesterday to faculty and students, Biondi says, "As I have stated before, I believe that if we can all work together collaboratively, I am confident we will move forward in the best interest of OUR University." And the university, in a written response to today's demonstration, says that the march is a "counterproductive effort" and an "unwarranted attack" perpetuated by a "small group determined to undermine the leadership of Father Biondi."

Students and faculty staged a protest for this afternoon after a series of events that critics say have only increased pressure on Biondi to step down.

Most recently, the president of the faculty senate criticized Biondi and the chairman of the board of trustees for announcing last-minute that they would not be attending a much anticipated final faculty senate meeting of the year. The university offered a response, which we published in full, arguing that the board of trustees is focused on finding a new chair and continuing to review a "university climate survey" and thus could not attend as originally planned. The trustees' executive committee is looking to reschedule, the university said in its statement, which also characterized the criticisms as a "personal attack against Father Biondi" and "disrespectful."

Father-Lawrence-Biondi-560.jpg
via slu.edu
Father Lawrence Biondi.

Since an overwhelming faculty vote of no-confidence in Biondi last year, the president has fought off a wave of controversies and resignations in protest of him.

Part of the recent complaints -- exacerbated by a dispute at a student government meeting -- is that he is refusing to even acknowledge the dissent.

"His decision not to attend the faculty senate meeting has really riled people up," Paul Lynch, an English professor who is out protesting this afternoon, tells Daily RFT by phone. "How can he lead us if he refuses to talk to us?"

He adds, "We would like to see the board of trustees announce after their meeting on Saturday that Father Biondi is retiring. We are really hoping...that they see the writing on the wall."

Of the president's latest message, Lynch adds, "He just doubles down."

A university statement sent to Daily RFT this afternoon, says, in part:

As demonstrated by today's gathering, these individuals were not hindered in their right to voice their opinions; just as the University has the right to say that this is all being done for show and to further this small group's narrow agenda.

The fact is, the University is moving forward in many positive ways, and there are collaborative efforts taking place all across campus to ensure that SLU continues to provide its students with the best educational experience possible....

It should be noted that the vast majority of the Saint Louis University community did not participate in this staged event. SLU is a community of 20,000 students, faculty and staff, and the overwhelming majority of these individuals are attending classes and doing their jobs today.

Continue for more on the protest and the full message from the president and university response.

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4 comments
jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

Wow, can this overfed walking colostomy bag show any more arrogance than he already has? Probably. What a pompous cock.

Angelo Olegna
Angelo Olegna

"The University feels today's march was a counterproductive effort that had nothing to do with moving SLU forward, but instead was just another unwarranted attack on the University and its president by a small group determined to undermine the leadership of Father Biondi. " What is with these people? They are saying that a large group of students and faculty are somehow some anti-SLU cell trying to destroy the university and take down Biondi as if he's some kind of presidente' of a banana Republic? It's a university, people in the university are upset, a lot, and they are voicing their opinions. It's so strange how people in public positions in Saint Louis seem to find the concept of dissent completely unfathomable.

Autumn Empson
Autumn Empson

Any President that blatantly ignores the demands of the student and faculty community needs to go. Not to mention he's trying to take benefits and pay from these great professors. SLU will not be competitive anymore if he stays. It has already slipped in the rankings. Totally pathetic.

Mirela Grabic
Mirela Grabic

It's about time. He wasted more of my tution money on himself and the damn flowers on campus than the students.

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