Has there ever been a prior case where a University President has had to issue a repudiation of a professor’s tweets?
I don’t feel like researching whether this is a first ever, but this statement by University of Rhode Island President Dr. David M. Dooley regarding the tweets by Assistant Professor Erik Loomis certainly is noteworthy (h/t TheOtherMcCain), as reported by a local news station, Backlash at URI professor after tweets:
A University of Rhode Island professor is receiving social media backlash and national attention after posting threats of violence against the National Rifle Association to his personal Twitter account.
A series of tweets that followed also contained profanity and obscene language.
The comments came just a day or two after the tragic school shootings in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 young children and six members of the faculty dead.
In one of his Twitter posts, Assistant Professor of History Erik Loomis called the NRA terrorists, saying ““[I] want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick,” he tweeted .
Loomis defended that comment in a blog post, saying it was a metaphor.
“In my world, calling for someone’s head on a stick is a metaphor to hold them responsible for their actions. I think the last time “head on a stick” actually meant murder was sometime around 1450,” said Loomis is his Tuesday post.
In that same blog post, he also mentioned he was visited by Rhode Island State Police.
Sometime Tuesday, Dr. David M. Dooley, President of the University of Rhode Island responded to the incident saying:
“The University of Rhode Island does not condone acts or threats of violence. These remarks do not reflect the views of the institution and Erik Loomis does not speak on behalf of the University. The University is committed to fostering a safe, inclusive and equitable culture that aspires to promote positive change.”
Loomis’ tweets and personal account were deleted some time after URI issued their statement.