According to an email sent out today to Patrick Henry College (PHC) alumni by Daniel Noa, President of the PHC Alumni Association, Dr. Graham Walker announced his resignation today during an all-campus meeting. According to Noa’s email,
I have been officially informed that as of 4:30 PM (EDT) today, Dr. Graham Walker has resigned his duties as President of Patrick Henry College. A search committee will be formed under the direction of the Board of Trustees to find a long term replacement.
Noa notes that “there has been tremendous friction between the alumni community and Dr. Walker during the independent review process,” a reference to the alumni board established to review PHC’s handling of campus sexual assault allegations. Concerning Walker’s resignation, Noa also states that he sees it “as a positive change” and “a great step toward a bigger and more successful future for Patrick Henry College.”
You can view the PHC Alumni Association’s email in its entirety as a PDF here.
Patrick Henry College’s Alumni Association (PHCAA), a volunteer-led self-governed membership organization that provides service to PHC alumni, issued an official statement over the weekend to the college’s Board, Faculty, and Staff concerning the college’s handling of sexual cases on its campus. PHCAA said it condemned all acts of sexual abuse and harassment and “categorically rejected” any form of victim-blaming. Without commenting on the particulars of the recently publicized sexual assault cases in Kiera Feldman’s piece in the New Republic, PHCAA stated that (1) it is a fact that students have experienced sexual mistreatment and (2) the college needs to provide better victim care.
PHCAA urged the college to take three steps:
1. Maintain transparency in every part of the independent audit process
2. Provide more avenues for victim care
3. Educate current students regarding sexual offenses
According to PHCAA’s statement, the college has “already hired an independent firm to audit its policies and practices toward sexual harassment and sexual assault.” However, the alumni association is requesting the college be “far beyond reproach” by also doing “an independent review of the New Republic incidents, and those propounded by any other past allegations of sexual assault, either in this audit or a separate one.”
PHCAA made no request for the resignation of Sandra Corbitt (an action urged by SNAP Network), the college’s dean who was the focus of much of the New Republic piece and recent public outrage due to allegations about victim-blaming and obstruction of justice.
You can view the full text of the Patrick Henry College Alumni Association’s statement as a PDF here.