The University of Tennessee at Knoxville has taken down an online message that encouraged anyone hosting a holiday party not to make it “a Christmas party in disguise,” after criticism from state lawmakers. The Tennessean reports that the chancellor, Jimmy G. Cheek, called the web page “poorly worded” in a statement on Tuesday.
The controversy began last week when U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan, a Republican, blasted the page as “extremist” and representative of the kind of political correctness that “people all over the country are sick and tired of.” Mr. Cheek defended the page as just a series of suggestions, not policy. But on Tuesday, the university not only replaced it with a vaguer message, but also reassigned oversight of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion’s website to the university’s vice chancellor for communications, Margie Nichols.
That decision came after the executive committee of the state’s Republican Party called on lawmakers to eliminate funding for the Knoxville campus’s diversity office.