The chancellor of Northwestern’s Purdue University apologized Wednesday for an “offensive and insensitive” comment he made in an off-the-cuff moment and linked it to the Asian community. initiation ceremony the weekend.
When Dedelow finished and Keon returned to the podium, a surprising thing happened shared throughout social networks.
“Well, that’s all I can say,” Keon said, before launching into his own tongue-in-cheek mockery of Asian languages. “It’s my Asian version of…” his voice croaked and changed the subject.
“I made an offensive and insensitive comment,” Keon said said in the statement. “I sincerely regret my unscheduled response to the other speaker because my words caused confusion, hurt and anger.”
In his apology, Keon also detailed the university’s efforts to improve diversity and equity in welcoming students and staff from different cultural backgrounds.
“We are all human. I made a mistake and I can assure you that I did not mean to offend and my comments do not reflect my personal or institutional values,” Keon said, vowing to learn from the incident.
It appears Keon will keep his position at the northwest Indiana university with about 7,200 undergraduate students.
A spokeswoman for Purdue University in West Lafayette told the Tribune that the Board of Trustees accepted Keon’s charge.
“The Purdue University Board of Trustees, which oversees all campuses in the Purdue system, is aware of the comments made by Chancellor Keon beginning in December 2022 at Northwestern Purdue and has accepted his apology,” a spokesperson told the newspaper.