Chancellor Zeppos joins higher education leaders in opposition to 'English-only'
Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos is among leaders of nine Nashville colleges and universities who are on the record opposing the proposed English-only ballot initiative for Davidson County. The higher education heads sent a joint statement to The Tennessean condemning the proposed charter amendment as one that would be damaging to Nashville and having many unintended consequences.
“The irony of the city known as the ‘Athens of the South’ becoming the first major metropolitan community in America to pass ‘English only’ is a distressing prospect,” the letter states. “As academic leaders, we are concerned about the impact – literal and symbolic – on our mission of teaching, learning, curing and discovering.”
Belmont University President Bob Fisher first proposed the idea to his higher education peers of writing a joint statement opposing the initiative. Joining him in opposition in addition to Zeppos are Fisk University President Hazel O’Leary, American Baptist College President Forrest Harris, Trevecca University President Dan Boone, Lipscomb University President L. Randolph Lowry, Tennessee State University President Melvin N. Johnson, Meharry Medical College President and Chief Executive Officer Wayne J. Riley and Aquinas College President Sister Mary Peter Muehlenkamp, O.P.
The English-only proposal is led by Metro Councilman Eric Crafton, a Vanderbilt alumnus. Early voting begins Jan. 2 with the referendum scheduled for Jan. 22.
Media contact: Ann Marie Deer Owens, 615-322-NEWS