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University provost says this professor's views are 'racist, sexist and homophobic' -- but says he won't be fired

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Mockingbird    2,914


(CNN)Indiana University has received hundreds of requests calling for a controversial professor to be fired, and a provost has called his views "racist, sexist and homophobic." But the school says that, while the professor does not represent its values, he is protected by the First Amendment.


Eric Rasmusen is a professor of business economics and public policy at Indiana University, where he's been teaching since 1992. He recently came under fire after he tweeted an article from Unz.com -- which calls itself a collection of "controversial perspectives" excluded from mainstream media -- called "Are Women Destroying Academia? Probably."



The article argues that women are more conformist, sympathetic and empathetic than men -- making them unsuitable for academia.


Twitter users pushed back. It received more than 380 replies, with comments ranging from "ok boomer" to others questioning if Rasmusen is fit to be a professor and teach students from minority groups.


It, along with past tweets from Rasmusen, was even shared by the Twitter account @SheRatesDogs, which boasts over 400,000 followers, on Tuesday -- and it basically went viral, garnering almost 30,000 likes.


Officials at Indiana University have received hundreds of requests calling for Rasmusen's firing since then, Provost Lauren Robel told CNN.


She didn't hold back in her statement -- calling Rasmusen's viewpoints "stunningly ignorant" and saying they are "more consistent with someone who lived in the 18th century than the 21st."


Idie Kesner, the dean of the business school where Rasmusen teaches, issued a similarly strong statement following the incident: "The professor demonstrates a lack of tolerance and respect for women as well as for racial diversity and diversity in sexual orientation. The leadership of the Kelley School (of Business) stands united in condemning the bias and disrespect displayed by this professor; we find his sexist, racist, and homophobic views abhorrent."


Rasmusen, though, said in a statement on his blog that the dean and the provost "overreacted."


In response to the Provost's claims that his viewpoints are racist, sexist and homophobic, he wrote, "These insults no longer have much meaning. I opposed admitting people to universities based on their race; I open doors for ladies; I say that sodomy is a sin. I am sure that is enough to qualify me for those insults under the Provost's personal definitions."


He also doesn't always tweet things he agrees with, he told CNN. In regards to the "Are Women Destroying Academia? Probably" article, he said he didn't agree with everything in it -- his wife taught college students, and he didn't mind -- though he thought the quote about genius was "plausible."






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DocM    16,676

I can see why they won't fire him


Indiana U. is a State school which no doubt takes Federal funds; research, programs, etc.  They must respect  free speech rights under both State and Federal laws.  WRT the Feds; 1st and 14th Amendments, Civil Rights Act, etc.


They usually cannot fire for repugnant beliefs or speech, especially if expressed off campus, evidenced by the left-wing extremists who don't get fired for spewing bovine excrement.  For either extreme, threats of violence would be different.


If fired for controversial but non-violent statements there'd be a helluva lawsuit, which the school would likely lose. 


At a private school things would be different, and very likely partisan - whichever extreme they agreed with would stay.

Edited by DocM
  • Facepalm 2

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