Die Zeitung Editorial Board | An Open Letter to President Rowe, Dean Velleca, and Provost Agouris

Dear Provost Agouris, Dean Velleca, and President Rowe,

We, the members of Die Zeitung, William & Mary’s German Newspaper, stand against the short-sighted, callous, and unethical decision to terminate Professor Veronika Burney along with four other beloved MLL professors under the guise of Covid related costs. Professor Veronika Burney is a fantastic, kind, effective, and competent professor. She is an irreplaceable source of German cultural engagement at the college. We at Die Zeitung highly value her knowledge, compassion, and commitment to diverse perspectives within her courses. 


The decision to terminate Professor Burney and fellow MLL professors is clearly part of a shift underway at W&M to reallocate resources from the humanities to STEM fields, one which undermines W&M's stated commitment to diversity and global citizenship, and its legacy as one of best liberal arts institutions in the United States. William & Mary repeatedly undervalues the modern language departments while supposedly valuing global citizenship and multiculturalism. Language and cultural classes are one of the best ways to begin to intimately, deeply, and truly engage with cultural diversity. How can W&M claim these values while terminating the professors who dedicate their lives to teaching them?  


Especially in times of increasing nationalism, xenophobia, and discussions of white supremacy, MLL courses and courses which prioritize education about cultural diversity must NOT be cut back or limited in any way. 


We at Die Zeitung demand that you maintain Professor Veronika Burney's position at W&M, as well as the other MLL professors.

To stand in support of this letter, and the German Studies faculty, sign our petition here.

Signed by:


Meredith Lemke ‘23

Tristan Dunn ‘23

Daisy Garner ‘21

Ephraim Kozodoy ‘21

Charlotte Walters ‘24

Aisling Halliden ‘24

Sapana Satyal ‘24

Kat Johnson ‘24

Matthew Hauser ‘23

Audrey Thronson ‘23


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