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By creating a center for racial justice, Penn State promised. The strategy is now useless.

Eric J. Barron was president of Pennsylvania State University. He touted a commission’s proposal for an anti-racism initiative. Now, his successor has canceled the project. The reversal prompted an uproar at the 88,000-student university and beyond. It highlights how promises are vulnerable to the passage of time.

The cancellation of a plan tied to racial justice raises the question: Is the reckoning in retreat? Professor: “For them to cut it off like that, it’s a big slap in the face”. Students are upset about the reversal of a key element of the university’s response.