The president of the University of North Texas has tried without success to cancel a speech by Donald Trump Jr. slated for this month, according to more than a thousand pages of emails obtained by The Dallas Morning News.
“I am trying to stop it, but it isn’t an easy thing,” wrote Neal Smatresk, president of the university in Denton, Tex., in an August email to a professor who opposed the controversial appearance by President Trump’s son.
Mr. Smatresk also said he was “not enthused” that the younger Mr. Trump would be a keynote speaker in a lecture series organized and funded by major donors. The speech reportedly carried a $100,000 price tag that is being paid by a tax-advisory firm owned by the chairman of the university’s Board of Regents, Brint Ryan.
Mr. Smatresk declined interview requests by the Morning News but did release a statement: “It isn’t surprising that some members of our faculty have strong opinions about the selection of this speaker and have chosen to express their viewpoints,” he said.
In an open letter, 87 faculty members asked the university to withdraw Mr. Trump’s invitation, citing as a main concern a much-scrutinized 2016 meeting between him and a group of Russians for which he is reportedly under investigation by a federal prosecutor.Return to Top