Nothing new has changed at Clemson University involving a professor who labeled Donald Trump supporters and Republicans as “racist scum” on one of his Facebook posts last week.
As of Wednesday, Assistant Professor of Human-Centered Computing, Bart Knijnenburg, is still employed by Clemson University. A university spokesperson told to The Clemson Insider on Wednesday that “nothing new” that they are aware of has changed in Mr. Knijnenburg’s employment.
However, TCI has learned that there is on-going inquiry on the matter. There is still no official word on whether Mr. Knijnenburg is teaching during the inquiry.
Clemson University President Jim Clements addressed the situation last Friday in his official university blog. However, he gave no indication on where they university stood on this particular matter, writing “the right of free expression is going to be tested from time to time.”
“The Clemson community faced one of those tests this week when the personal views of an individual evoked disappointment, concern and outrage from many members of the Clemson family,” President Clements wrote. “Situations like this can severely test our belief in the guarantees of free speech provided by the Constitution.
“And to be clear, speech that may be protected by law, but which is hateful, mean-spirited or casts aspersions on an entire group of persons is not consistent with our values or how we should strive to conduct ourselves at Clemson.”
Last Thursday, Mark Land, Vice President for University Relations, released a statement to The Clemson Insider in regards to our request for information on what the university plans to do about Mr. Knijnenburg’s remarks and if he will continue to be a professor at Clemson University in the future.
“The university is aware of remarks attributed to a Clemson faculty member, which appear to have come from his personal Facebook account, and is looking into the matter,” Land said in the statement. “The remarks in question are not reflective of the university’s views. The university has consistently made it clear that expressions condoning or advocating violence or hatred have no place on this, or any, college campus.”
Clements closed his blog by asking the Clemson Family to live by its core values and rise above the fray.
“Let’s demand of ourselves – and encourage those around us – to refrain from actions or speech that demeans or that aims to intimidate those with whom we disagree,” he wrote. “This situation can serve as a reminder of how important it is that we treat one another with respect – especially in difficult times. We are confident that the Clemson family can move forward from this in a way that represents the very best values of this great university.”
TCI will have more from this story as it develops.