Eastman reverses course on China tour following public backlash

October 29, 2019, 11:00 PM · Eastman has effectively cancelled their China tour following overwhelming backlash from alumni and the broader community. After initially saying the tour would go ahead without Korean students, Dean Rossi now says the tour will only go forward in the unlikely event that China grants them visas.

Internal emails show Rossi's decision to proceed despite the requirement that the school remove Korean musicians was motivated in part by the recruitment benefits of promoting good relations with China.

In my view, Dean Rossi's handling of this situation is inexcusable. As an educator, he should have had the courage to lead by example and protect his students from controversy from the start, instead he has chosen financial enrichment for the school and pointed blame back at his students when questioned about his decision. A vote by students should never have been held, much less the results made public by the dean; the reputation of Eastman students is now tarnished as a result.

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