After Legislative Director Marc Short leaves his post at the White House Friday, he’ll head to the University of Virginia to teach at the business school and serve as a senior fellow in the school’s public policy wing, starting in August.
But professors, alumni and others have started an online petition to oppose the university’s “unconscionable” appointment of Short, calling the decision particularly egregious given the upcoming one-year anniversary of the deadly white nationalist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia and the Trump administration’s response to the incident.
“The university should not serve as a waystation for high-level members of an administration that has directly harmed our community and to this day attacks the institutions vital to a free society — the very thing that the University of Virginia, as an institution of higher education, is meant to protect,” the petition said.
Those who signed the petition are concerned that allowing Short on campus could become a “source of trauma” for those still impacted and “healing” from the attack, where one person was killed and dozens injured when a man affiliated with white supremacists drove his car through a crowd of counter protesters.
“As we approach the first anniversary of the white nationalist violence against this university, this town, and our friends, neighbors, students, faculty and staff — all of whom are represented among the injured — it is unconscionable that we would add to our university a person who served in a high-level position for the administration that first empowered, then defended, those white nationalists,” the petition said.
While President Trump did eventually condemn white supremacists, he infamously blamed “both sides” for violence during an unhinged press conference in the days following the attack.
When reached by Politico, Short said “I think we could have done a better job expressing sympathy for the victims and outrage at those who perpetrated this evil.”