The University of Kansas announced last week that associate professor David Guth won’t “return to classroom duties this year” but his administrative leave is over after a controversial tweet.
Guth is the professor who tweeted in late September after the shootings at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard, “#NavyYardShooting blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you.”
Guth was put on “indefinite administrative leave” after the tweet, and the university distanced itself from his comments, as iMediaEthics wrote at the time. In an Oct. 24 news release on the university’s website, the university said seven “faculty and staff” reviewed the incident.
“The committee was asked to assess the current environment and recommend whether Guth could return from administrative leave without disrupting the student learning environment,” the news release said. For the rest of the semester, Guth will have “non-classroom responsibilities.”
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“In place of teaching, Guth has been assigned additional non-classroom responsibilities in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications for the remainder of the semester, including various service and administrative assignments,” the news release stated. “Those assignments will be completed away from campus to the greatest extent possible.”
The dean of the journalism school, Ann Brill, told the University Daily Kansan that “some of the work [Guth] will be doing” is related to the journalism school’s accreditation review. Next semester, in 2014, he will “begin a previously approved semester-long research sabbatical.”
Guth also apologized in a letter to the editor published by the Lawrence Journal-World. His letter apologized that his tweet “caused a great deal of pain for many people” and that he “didn’t do a very good job” with his message. He went on:
“Some interpreted my tweet differently than it was intended: I don’t want anyone’s children hurt. The fact that my words were misconstrued is my fault — I am the professional communicator and I didn’t do a very good job. For that, I apologize. I also regret that my statements have had a negative impact on the university community. Finally, I am grateful for the support I have received from family, friends, colleagues and many others whom I have never met. It is much appreciated.”