They must not teach courage in college.
Amid a week-long national uproar over the California State University, Fresno, professor, who decided the death of former first lady Barbara Bush was a fine time to unleash a string of vicious insults against the deceased and her family, Fresno State President Joseph Castro waited until Tuesday to announce his decision in the case.
Let’s just say he didn’t cover himself with glory.
In the statement , Castro had a lot to say about the vindictive, petty string of Twitter postings literature professor Randa Jarrar published after Bush’s death.
He called them “insensitive, inappropriate and an embarrassment to the university.”
He said they were “disgraceful.”
And then he said the university wouldn’t lift a finger to do anything about it.
“Immediately following Professor Jarrar’s tweets last Tuesday, we carefully reviewed the facts and consulted with CSU counsel to determine whether we could take disciplinary action,” Castro wrote.
”After completing this process, we have concluded that Professor Jarrar did not violate any CSU or university policies and that she was acting in a private capacity and speaking about a public matter on her personal Twitter account.”
That might be an argument if Jarrar had not explicitly invoked her status as a tenured professor to cackle at her critics.
So, even if Jarrar didn’t break out into the Fresno State fight song, she was pretty clearly affiliating herself with her university profession.
And doing it in as insulting a manner as possible. (As an aside, is there any way on earth to justify paying a woman like this $100,000 a year?)
Castro’s statement makes a big deal about protecting Jarrar’s First Amendment rights, and that’s absolutely fine. No one is saying the woman should be put in jail.
The question is whether a professor like this, who disgraces her school and her colleagues and becomes a national “embarrassment to the university” should get off scot-free. (Can anyone imagine a conservative counterpart to Jarrar keeping her job under First Amendment protections?)
The social media fireworks have already started. A petition on Change.org to get Jarrar fired had garnered almost 60,000 signatures by Wednesday morning. And conservative Twitter accounts were buzzing.
Fresno State is likely to be feeling the repercussions of this latest disgrace in higher education for a long time to come.
Last week, Castro acknowledged that the university was getting bitter backlash from alumni — whose money should matter.
“They’re outraged and I’m outraged as well,” Castro told The Fresno Bee.
Sure, he outraged. He’s spitting-fire, pounding-the-table, screaming-at-the-top-of-his-lungs outraged by a woman who disgraced and embarrassed his university.
He’s just not going to do a thing about it.
Nope. They don’t teach courage in college. Not at Castro’s, anyway.
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