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Mar 28, 2014 06:37 PM EDT

University Of Minnesota Asked To Rescind Condoleezza Rice Invite

Students and faculty at the University of Minnesota are joining forces to pressure the school to rescind an invitation to former invitation Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to speak at the school next month, the Associated Press reported.

Rice, who was national security advisor under President George W. Bush, is scheduled to deliver a speech on civil rights at the Twin Cities campus April 17 as part of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs' lecture series, the AP reported.

The school's Senate, which includes faculty, staff and student representatives, has scheduled a vote next week on a resolution urging the University to disinvite Rice from speaking because of her role in the wartime policies of Bush's administration.

University officials rejected the notion of disinviting anyone.

"Rescinding any kind of invitation would be inconsistent with our goal of promoting discussion and dialogue," Andrea Cournoyer, a spokeswoman for the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, told the Star Tribune.

But Math professor William Messing, who introduced the resolution, said he is "cautiously optimistic" that it will gain support, the Star Tribune reported.

The resolution criticizes Rice for playing "a prominent role in (the Bush) administration's efforts to mislead the American people ... about the case for invading Iraq and for condoning waterboarding "and other torture tactics."

Rice, who is now a professor at Stanford University, is commanding a speaking fee of $150,000. 

In announcing the lecture, The Humphrey School of Public Affairs' described Rice as "one of the most influential and powerful people in the world."

The Star Tribune reported that the anti-Rice campaign was started by Nick Theis, a member of Students for a Democratic Society - a revival of a 1960s antiwar group that promotes "liberal and radical" causes. 

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