Ted Ruger, the dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School, is taking a public stance against remarks made by controversial professor Amy Wax, calling her recent comments on race and immigration “repugnant.”
During a panel on immigration in Washington last week, Wax reportedly said the United States would benefit if the immigration system favored people from Western countries, which “in effect means taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites.”
Ruger took issue with Wax’s characterization of minorities, and said reports of her remarks flirted with racism and white supremacy, views he said were at odds with Penn’s institutional values and policies.
“At best, the reported remarks espouse a bigoted theory of white cultural and ethnic supremacy; at worst, they are racist," Ruger said in a statement. "Under any framing, such views are repugnant to the core values and institutional practices of both Penn Law and the University of Pennsylvania.”
Ruger did not outline any steps that would be taken against Wax, who will be taking a planned sabbatical during the upcoming school year, according to a spokesperson for the university. Back in March 2018, Ruger barred Wax from teaching mandatory first-year law courses after she questioned the intelligence of black students.
“Past episodes have made clear that when Professor Wax speaks about race and culture, she does not speak for this institution or those who work and study here,” Ruger said in Tuesday’s statement.
Wax did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and has declined multiple requests for comment since reports of her remarks at the National Conservatism conference surfaced. A petition from the Latinx Law Students Association calls for her to be relieved of all teaching duties.
“These statements are racist,” the petition said, adding that they “exacerbate a hostile environment at Penn Law that makes students like us feel like we do not belong.”