An Indiana University professor under fire for a series of offensive comments on social media issued a lengthy statement defending himself on his personal website.
Eric Rasmusen first came under fire after another account on Twitter found a tweet from the college professor from Nov. 7 where he shared an article titled, “Are Women Destroying Academia? Probably.” He also quoted a line from the article in the tweet saying how “geniuses are overwhelmingly male.”
Indiana University Executive Vice President and Provost Lauren Robel released a statement condemning Rasmusen’s recent comments.
“Indiana University has a strong nondiscrimination policy, and as an institution adheres to values that are the opposite of Professor Rasmusen’s expressed values,” Robel wrote. She also revealed Rasmusen has a history of making similar comments.
These reportedly include saying women don’t belong in the workplace or academia, gay men should be kept out of academia for being “promiscuous,” and black students are unqualified to attend “elite” schools.
However, she said he would not be fired, citing his First Amendment rights.
“I condemn, in the strongest terms, Professor Rasmusen’s views on race, gender, and sexuality, and I think others should condemn them,” Robel continued. “But my strong disagreement with his views—indeed, the fact that I find them loathsome—is not a reason for Indiana University to violate the Constitution of the United States.”
Rasmusen pushed back in a statement of his own, accusing Indiana University of encouraging classroom and grading biases.
“Indiana University is not discouraging bias, but encouraging it, even requiring it, as a condition of teaching,” Rasmusen wrote. “There are views you’re not supposed to express, even outside of class, and God help the conservative student whose professor checks Facebook and Twitter before grading term papers. In the past I’ve had Christian and conservative students shyly approach me to say how happy they were to finally find a professor who was open in his beliefs. I hope to encourage them as much as I can.”
He posted a second response, taking issue with many of the statements made in Robel’s official press release.
“I oppose admitting people to universities based on their race; I open doors for ladies; I say that sodomy is a sin,” Rasmusen said. “I am sure that is enough to qualify me for those insults under the provost’s personal definitions.”
Rasmusen, a tenured professor of business economics and public policy, is reportedly teaching one course this semester and has 20 students.