After initially seeking to distance itself from a controversial tweet by one of its professors, the University of Kansas today announced that the teacher, David Guth, has been placed on administrative leave, Fox4KC reports.
On Monday, Guth, a Strategic Communications professor at the William Allen White School of Journalism, tweeted:
The tweet received only a handful of comments until Campus Reform interviewed Guth on Thursday, publishing the piece under the headline “Journalism professor says he hopes for murder of NRA members’ children.”
Tim Caboni, vice chancellor for public affairs at KU, released a statement calling Guth’s tweet repugnant, adding that his opinion do not reflect those of the university:
Like all Americans, he has the right under the First Amendment to express his personal views and is protected in that regard. But it is truly disgraceful that these views were expressed in such a callous and uncaring way. We expect all members of the university community to engage in civil discourse and not make inflammatory and offensive comments.
Guth stood his ground in his interview with Campus Reform, arguing that he nothing to apologize for:
All I did was what any American should have the right to do: express his or her opinion in an opinion forum. I regret that there’s been a blowback at KU. I didn’t do it on a KU site.
Nevertheless on Friday, Chancellor Bernadette Gray- issued a statement reading:
In order to prevent disruptions to the learning environment for students, the School of Journalism and the university, I have directed Provost Jeffrey Vitter to place Associate Professor Guth on indefinite administrative leave pending a review of the entire situation. Professor Guth’s classes will be taught by other faculty members,” Gray-Little said in the statement.