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Report: UNT President 'Not Enthused' By Donald Trump Jr.'s Planned Speech

Max Goldberg
Wikimedia Commons
Donald Trump, Jr. in Iowa, in November 2016.

University of North Texas Neal Smatresk has expressed his opposition to Donald Trump Jr.'s upcoming appearance that's part of the school's speaker series.

The Dallas Morning News reports it obtained more than 1,000 pages of emails through a public records request in which Smatresk expressed his displeasure to faculty members. He wrote he was "not enthused" that President Trump's eldest son would speak at the Kuehne Speaker Series, and that he was "trying to stop it, but it isn’t an easy thing."

Trump Jr. will be paid $100,000 for the Oct. 24 speech and question-and-answer session, which will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. 

Last month, opposing faculty went public with an open letter to express "profound shock, dismay and embarrassment" at the invitation, saying it "evinces a stunning disrespect for women, people of color, LGBTQ members of our community, and others, and it cannot stand." (Read the letter here.)

The letter listed 87 UNT faculty members as signers. More added their names after initial publication. 

Smatresk declined The News' request for comment about the emails. Instead, he issued a statement: "It isn’t surprising that some members of our faculty have strong opinions about the selection of this speaker and have chosen to express their viewpoints."

UNT will pay $125,000 to hold the event at the stadium, according to a contract obtained by The News. As of last month, the college projected the speaker series would net $13,000, according to documents reviewed by The News.

Dallas Morning News: UNT president opposed Donald Trump Jr.’s speech, but donors prevailed (Oct. 4, 2017)

More reading

Denton Record-Chronicle: Media barred from University of North Texas event featuring Donald Trump Jr. (Oct. 3)

Community Newspaper Holdings/Jacksonville Progress (Jacksonville, Texas): Speaker series incites debate (Sept. 30)

Denton Record-Chronicle: UNT faculty express 'shock, dismay and embarrassment' for upcoming Trump Jr. speech (Sept. 23)

Washington Post: Donald Trump Jr. is getting $100,000 for university speech sponsored by GOP donor’s company (Sept. 1)

KERA News: President Trump And His Eldest Son Are Both Making Trips To North Texas This Fall (Aug. 21)

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