Latino professor ends hunger strike over tenure denial

A professor at Lafayette College broke a hunger strike Monday after nearly a week without food in protest of not getting tenure.

Juan Rojo, a scholar of Mexican history, announced on Facebook that he would end his hunger strike Monday morning at aTaqueria la Plazain Easton, Pennsylvania, where Lafayette is located, but continue negotiating with the college over tenure.

Rojo began his hunger strike protest on Aug. 30 after he was denied tenure by the college’s president despite receiving a favorable 6-0 vote and 6-1 vote from tenure review boards.

“I am not sure if this is because I am Mexican, male, or some other reason,” Rojo wrote.

Rojo denies there is some other secret “mystery reason” why he was denied.

Tenure grants professors significantly more job security and benefits, essentially denoting a lifetime guarantee of a job absent serious misconduct.

Rojo, who teaches Spanish language and literature, vowed to only drink water and Gatorade while continuing to work until he got tenure or until the tenure decision-making process was significantly reformed.

He ended the hunger strike “in good faith” of ongoing negotiations with the school, he wrote, after being contacted by the college’s board.

“I am not sure if and when they will engage this issue but I hope they do so with an open mind,” Rojo wrote. “The faculty and staff are mobilized in ways I have not seen before and I am thankful for their support.”

Lafayette College president Alison Byerly denied Rojo’s tenure because she felt his teaching was not “distinctive,” Fox News reported.

More from our Sister Sites