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The Catholic University of America Suspends a Dean Over a Tweet

The university’s administration suspended a dean that tweeted out a controversial comment about one Kavanaugh’s alleged accusers.

Duane Paul Murphy



Last Friday, September 28, the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. suspended the Dean of its Social Service School, Will Rainford, after he publicly tweeted a controversial comment regarding one of Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged accusers, Julie Swetnick.

Rainford, however, will remain head of the university’s School of Social Service after his suspension is completed at the end of fall semester in December 2018. Associate Dean Marie J. Raber has been appointed as acting dean until the end of the fall semester.

Screenshot of the tweet before deletion. Courtesy of The Tower.

According to The Catholic University of America’s independent student newspaper, The Tower, over than 40 students organized a demonstration and protested on Monday, October 1, outside the university’s Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, a student union building on campus, with a list of demands. Those included an already issued apology from the university’s president, John Garvey, the resignation of Rainford, permanently replacing Rainford with a female dean (such as Raber) for better representation in the female majority school, an affirmative statement from the university on standard protocol of investigating sexual assault and harassment on campus, and a donation from the university to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

Social Work students protest on campus against Rainford’s tweet. (Image: Facebook)

Rainford has since deleted the tweet and his own Twitter account after the controversy. He has also issued an apology in a open letter by the university’s communications department.

This is not the most recent controversy the university is currently facing.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington, who was mentioned in a massive investigation by the state of Pennsylvania of covering up sexual abuse by clergy against child minors as Bishop of Pittsburg, still remains chancellor of the pontifical university, which is chartered by the Vatican.

Wuerl’s predecessor, Theodore McCarrick, is accused of sexual abusing children during his time as Archbishop of Newark.

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Duane Paul Murphy is a D.C. college student and student journalist born and raised in Southern California. Currently studying for his bachelor’s in politics and a minor in media studies, Duane Paul is interested in covering domestic as well as international political affairs that impact the lives of everyday people, whether they are young students, professionals, or faculty in higher education.

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