DePaul University President Dennis Holtschneider on Monday announced his intention to resign from his position, less than a month after conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos tore through the Illinois campus.
Although Mr. Holtschneider’s contract is not up until 2019, he said in a letter to faculty that “it’s best for DePaul if I step aside” at the end of the upcoming academic year.
The letter did not mention Mr.Yiannopoulos, and the president said he had been planning to step aside for several months. At the conclusion of the upcoming academic year, he said he intends to spend a year away from the university before returning as a tenured member of the faculty.
Mr. Yiannopoulos’s May 24 speech at DePaul was shut down when student protesters stormed the stage and took over the microphone.
University security, paid for by the College Republicans at a cost of $1,000, failed to restore order under the administration’s directive.
The incident drew outrage from parents and alumni, causing Mr. Holtschneider to issue an apology to the College Republicans. He did not apologize to Mr. Yiannopoulos, and a significant portion of the letter was dedicated to denouncing the Breitbart editor’s political views.
“On behalf of the university, I apologize to the DePaul College Republicans,” Mr. Holtschneider said in the letter. “They deserved to hear their speaker uninterrupted, and were denied that.”
“Mr. Yiannopoulos and I share very few opinions,” he continued. “He argues that there is no wage gap for women, a difficult position to maintain in light of government data.”
The DePaul University Black Leadership Coalition said it was “deeply offended and disappointed” by the president’s reaction to the event and to other incidents of “hate speech” on campus, including pro-Donald Trump chalk messages.
The group protested for several days before finally staging a sit-in, which prompted another apology from Mr. Holtschneider on June 2.
“I am deeply sorry for the harm that was unleashed by a speaker whose intent was to ignite racial tension and demean those most marginalized, both in our society and at DePaul,” he said in the campus-wide email.