Louisiana Tech University in Ruston inducted Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson into its Hall of Distinguished Alumni during its spring commencement May 24. Though Robertson didn't attend, KNOE-TV in Monroe reported "several" people walked out of the ceremony. Afterward, a group of students and professors began a petition calling for the revocation of the honor, citing "deeply hateful remarks Mr. Robertson has made about women, African Americans and LGBTQ people." In a statement, the university said, "The right to express and debate differences in opinions, ideologies and values is at the core of a university community, and Louisiana Tech certainly supports its faculty in this exercise of free expression."
Robertson, a favorite of evangelical voters, did speak at the opening of the Republican Leadership Conference at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside May 29 — the same night Gov. Bobby Jindal addressed the gathering. Robertson got an ovation from the crowd for his views on Christianity and what he described as "evil" federal policy. For his part, Jindal blasted the Common Core educational standards, saying it was the result of "bureaucrats from Washington D.C." who "think they know best and don't have to listen to parents." In reality, Common Core was designed by a bipartisan group of governors, and until recently Jindal was one of its strongest backers.
Jindal also will appear on the season premiere of Duck Dynasty June 11. His appearance was taped in February, when he presented the family with a new state award, "The Governor's Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence."