By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog
OSAWATOMIE — The University of Kansas has banished from the classroom a professor who issued a death wish upon the children of National Rifle Association members following the deadly Navy Yard Shooting last month.
KU journalism professor David Guth was placed on indefinite administrative leave after posting the inflammatory comment to his personal Twitter account within hours of the Washington Navy Yard shooting Sept. 16. The tweet in question has since been deleted.
University officials announced Thursday that Guth will return to work Friday, but won’t be allowed to set foot in the classroom. Rather, the professor has been assigned “additional non-classroom responsibilities,” including “various service and administrative assignments.”
Guth has become so toxic to the university that, officials said, “those assignments will be completed away from campus to the greatest extent possible.”
According to a statement released by the university, Provost Jeffrey Vitter and Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little approved the move following a recommendation of a seven-member committee of faculty and staff.
“The committee conducted a full review, and their input was instrumental in arriving at this decision,” Gray-Little said. “Our decisions throughout this situation have been guided by the facts and the law, respecting the interests of our students and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.”
Guth will begin a previously approved semester-long research sabbatical beginning in January 2014. Teaching assignments for the fall 2014 semester have not yet been made.
While this isn’t the first — and won’t be the last — time an academic’s comments land them in hot water, it certainly isn’t the lone standout in recent weeks. Shortly before Guth grabbed headlines with his tweet, a Michigan State University professor was caught on video saying Republicans are old people with “dead skin cells washing off them” who raped the United States to get “everything out of it they possibly could.” And only a few weeks ago, a University of Wisconsin La Crosse professor brought her political spin into the classroom after telling students the blame for the federal shutdown lay with congressional Republicans.
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