University of Kansas associate professor David Guth was placed on “indefinite administrative leave” following “repugnant” comments he made on his personal Twitter account following the shooting at the D.C. Navy Yard on Monday, according to University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.
“Thank you for writing to me regarding the repugnant comments made by a member of our faculty on his personal Twitter account,” Gray-Little said. “The comments were inflammatory and in no way represent my views or the views of the University of Kansas.”
Gray-Little included her official statement made earlier Friday.
“In order to prevent disruptions to the learning environment for students, the School of Journalism and the university, I have directed Provost Jeff 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.
Following the shooting — in which 13 people were killed including the gunman — Guth tweeted:
The tweet led to outrage and demands for an apology. Campus Reform, part of the right-leaning Leadership Institute, asked Guth on Wednesday if he regretted the tweet.
“Hell no, hell no, I do not regret that Tweet,” Guth said. “I don't take it back one bit.”
Twitter user Shane Wright asked the university if it felt Guth was still a role model for students, prompting the university's student senate to tweet, “First Amendment, Freedom of Speech.”
But the university later issued an official condemnation of Guth's tweet, saying, “while the First Amendment allows anyone to express an opinion, that privilege is not absolute and must be balanced with the rights of others. That's vital to civil discourse.”
Still, Gray-Little urged people not to condemn the entire university for the actions of Guth.
“What I ask is that you not allow the comments by a lone professor impugn an entire university, and the thousands of students, faculty and staff who are part of our community,” she said.