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Fewer commit to Md. college after firestorm over its president

Snow covers the ground in front of Bradley Hall at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, on Feb. 9 (Bill Green/The Frederick News-Post via AP)

Snow covers the ground in front of Bradley Hall at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, on Feb. 9 (Bill Green/The Frederick News-Post via AP)

EMMITSBURG, Md. (AP) — Mount St. Mary’s University says fewer new undergraduates are committing to the Maryland Catholic college after its former president likened struggling freshmen to bunnies that should be killed.

Vice President Michael Post said Tuesday that 449 incoming freshmen committed to the school by the May 1 national reporting deadline, compared with about 500 last year. He says publicity about former president Simon Newman was a minor contributing factor.

The decline was first reported Saturday by The Frederick News-Post.

The administrator says enrollment has been shrinking for several years, partly due to higher selection standards.

Newman resigned in February after the student newspaper reported he had told a faculty member, during a discussion about struggling freshmen, “You just have to drown the bunnies … put a Glock to their heads.”