A Public Letter from Drexel Emeriti Faculty | The Triangle

A Public Letter from Drexel Emeriti Faculty

This was a public letter emailed to the opinion editor of The Triangle, at the request of the Drexel Emeriti faculty, who feel strongly that the community should read and understand the following points.

To the Members of the Drexel Community:

We, the Undersigned, emeriti faculty of Drexel University, call upon President John Fry and the Drexel Board of Trustees to revoke the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws awarded Rudolph W. Giuliani in 2009, forthwith.  Mr. Giuliani has been the principal mouthpiece and instigator of former President Donald Trump’s unfounded, vitriolic, and insurrectionary campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, which culminated on January 6 in a violent attack on the Houses of Congress in session, an act unprecedented in the history of our country.

The facts of the case are not at issue, nor is the direct, sustained, and incendiary conduct of Mr. Giuliani in the events leading up to the assault, including his speech to an assembled and armed mob calling for “trial by combat” that immediately preceded it.  There can be no place of honor for Mr. Giuliani, and no consequence but dishonor for any institution of higher learning that continues to accord him one.  Two universities that had granted honorary degrees to Mr. Trump, Lehigh and Wagner, at once withdrew them.  Middlebury College, which awarded such a degree to Mr. Giuliani in 2005, revoked it on January 12, with the statement by its president, Laurie Patton, that Mr. Giuliani’s conduct amounted to “an insurrection against democracy itself.”

On January 19, Drexel’s Faculty Senate called for the revocation of Mr. Giuliani’s degree by a vote of 43-3.  More than four weeks have now passed without further action by the University.  With due respect, there can be no further need for discussion, and no excuse for delay.  A majority of the United States Senate voted to convict former President Trump of incitement to insurrection.  Mr. Trump himself congratulated Mr. Giuliani for his participation in this incitement.  The New York State Bar Association, which is now considering Mr. Giuliani’s disbarment, states in its by-laws that “no person who advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States” shall be entitled to practice law by its warrant.  That is precisely what Mr. Giuliani has done, not only by advocacy but in action.  And that is not merely incitement, but co-conspiracy in treason.

Emeriti faculty have a singular responsibility for the integrity of the institutions they serve, as its longest-serving academic members.  We feel this particularly in so egregious a matter as the present one.  The damage done to the honor and reputation of Drexel University is already a significant one.  Each passing day compounds it.  Our connection to Mr. Giuliani must be severed at once.


Anthony Addison

Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry


Raymond Brebach

Professor Emeritus, Department of English and Philosophy


Roger Doherty

Professor Emeritus, Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Leonard Finegold

Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics


James Friend

Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Chemistry


Teck-Kah Lim

Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics


Donald Larson

Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics


Charles Morscheck

Professor Emeritus, Department of Art and Art History


James Spotila

Professor Emeritus, Department of Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Science


Blaise Tobia

Professor Emeritus, Department of Art and Art History


Peter Wade

Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry


Jian-Min Yuan

Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics


Robert Zaller

Drexel Distinguished University Professor of History, Emeritus