FAU administrators today distanced themselves from the Islamophobic and homophobic Facebook posts, first reported here, of Boca Raton businesswoman Roxanna Trinka, an adviser to the school's College of Engineering and Computer Science.
According to a school press release:
Florida Atlantic University was made aware today of the personal Facebook posts that were reportedly made by Roxanna Trinka. Ms. Trinka was an unpaid volunteer member of an advisory council to the College of Engineering and Computer Science.... FAU appreciates the support that hundreds of volunteers provide to it every day. However, those volunteers' private remarks do not represent the University. Ms. Trinka does not speak for FAU, and the comments that have been attributed to her do not reflect the views of the University. FAU prides itself on being one of the most diverse and welcoming universities in America. The unfortunate and insensitive comments that have been attributed to Ms. Trinka are not consistent with FAU's values.
At almost the same time, the South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on the school to remove Trinka from her advisory role at the College, which has a significant number of faculty and students of Mideast origin.
"Roxanna Trinka's bigoted and extremist views, coupled with her involvement with FAU, certainly raise concerns with the South Florida Muslim community," CAIR-SFL Executive Director Nezar Hamze wrote. "This type of bigotry has the potential to create a hostile learning environment for Muslim students and damages the university's image and credibility."
The school may have preempted CAIR's request, however. According to FAU media rep Lisa Metcalf, the College of Engineering's advisory council is being abolished, to be reconstituted in the future.
It remains to be seen how news of Trinka's outspoken antagonism to Islam will play out at her other position, as a director of the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University (a quasi-public entity independent of the school). As reported here yesterday, the Research Park's primary developer and operator, HDG Mansur, is owned by a Dubai-based private equity fund that prides itself on adherence to Islamic law.
Fire Ant -- an invasive species, tinged bright red, with an annoying, sometimes-fatal sting -- covers Palm Beach County. Got feedback or a tip? Contact Fire.Ant@BrowardPalmBeach.com.
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