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UT Criticized For Holiday Party Suggestions Post

Posted at 6:10 PM, Dec 04, 2015

An online post about holiday party suggestions has had the University of Tennessee's Office for Diversity and Inclusion under fire.

Media outlets reported that Thursday, U.S. Representative John J. Duncan appeared on Fox News and called the post, titled "Best Practices for Inclusive Holiday Celebrations in the Workplace," an example of political correctness run amok. The post said parties should celebrate workplace relationships with no emphasis on religion or culture.

Throughout the day, additional lawmakers expressed support for Duncan. State Senators Delores Gresham and Mike Bell called on Chancellor Jimmy Cheek to resign.

The UT Office of Diversity and Inclusion defended itself on Twitter, saying that "You only need to walk around campus to see that we are not anti-Christmas. We are pro-inclusion."

In a social media post Friday, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey released the following statement calling for Chancellor Cheek's resignation if he approved the post:

"Political correctness has been a scourge on American academia for too long. If liberal arts universities in New York and Massachusetts wish to continue the practice that is up to them, but it has no place at institutions of higher learning in Tennessee. The General Assembly was assured that no "practice or policy" would be published without Chancellor Cheek's approval.

If this post was approved by Chancellor Cheek, he should resign. If not, the entire staff of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion should be dismissed. The reputation of Tennessee is at stake here.

If the University of Tennessee cannot keep its house in order the General Assembly must shift funding to the University of Memphis, ETSU or other institutions of higher learning that don't embarrass us nationally on a regular basis."