HAMMOND, Ind. — The faculty at Purdue University Northwest have passed a no-confidence vote on Chancellor Thomas Keon.

Keon has been under fire since he made a racist remark at one of the university’s commencement ceremonies earlier this month.

He has since apologized for his remarks in which he mocked Asians.

The Chicago Tribune reports many faculty feel he has contributed to “systemic bigotry in the campus culture.”

The no-confidence vote passed 135 to 2.

Last week, the Faculty Senate asked the chancellor to resign.

The letter asking him to resign, signed by eight faculty members, said his comments insulted the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and “caused national and international outrage.”

On Thursday, the Purdue Board of Trustees provided the following statement:

Each member of the Purdue Board of Trustees has had the opportunity to review the entirety of the December 10 commencement at Purdue University Northwest to examine the context of Chancellor Keon’s remark. Each has concluded that, in addition to its being extremely offensive and insensitive (as Dr. Keon himself has acknowledged in his apology), this offhand attempt at humor was in poor taste, unbecoming of his role as chancellor, and unacceptable for an occasion that should be remembered solely for its celebratory and unifying atmosphere. The Board has therefore issued a formal reprimand to Dr. Keon.

Although in the Trustees’ estimation this offensive remark does not reflect a pattern of behavior or a system of beliefs held by Dr. Keon, the Board has made clear to him that a repeat incident of a similar nature would provide grounds for further Board action, including possible dismissal.  

The University does not intend to comment further on this personnel matter.

Purdue University Board of Trustees Chair Mike Berghoff