Kansas journalism professor placed on leave after controversial tweet

Professor David Guth was put on administrative leave today after his controversial tweet about gun control in response to the Navy Yard shooting Monday.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little released a statement Friday morning announcing the action.

“In order to prevent disruptions to the learning environment for students, the School of Journalism and the university, I have directed Provost Jeffrey Vitter to place Associate Professor Guth on indefinite administrative leave pending a review of the entire situation,” Gray-Little wrote.

Gray-Little also said in the statement that Guth’s classes will be taught by other faculty members.

The action follows yesterday’s statement, attempting to distance the University from Guth’s comments.

The University declined to comment further about Guth’s leave or a timeline for the review.

UPDATE: Andy Tompkins, President and CEO of The Kansas Board of Regents, expressed the board’s offense at Guth’s statement in a press release Friday afternoon.

“The Board wishes to reiterate the statement made by Dean Ann Brill when she said that ‘while the First Amendment allows anyone to express an opinion, that privilege is not absolute and must be balanced with the rights of others.’” Tompkins said. “The Board expresses its appreciation for the immediate response by the Chancellor to the situation and expresses its confidence in her leadership.”

  • Updated Sep. 20, 2013 at 2:51 pm
  • bonnieblue2A

    Disgusting display by Mr. Guth. The rabid hate and intolerance expressed by this associate professor should not be entertained upon the KU campus a moment longer. With freedom comes both responsibility and consequences. Mr. Guth should face the consequences of his hate speech in the unemployment line.

    Anyone who wishes death upon the children of others has some serious psychological problems and should be under professional care and observation. How can Mr. Guth be trusted to teach young adults? Can the University guarantee their future safety since he has expressed a death wish to the children of some? I suspect there is at least one child of an NRA member attending the KU School of Journalism.

    A few decades ago as a KU student I learned firearm safety and marksmanship right there on the KU campus in a 2 credit hour course labeled then Basic Rifle 101. The class was held in the basement of the ROTC building next to Allen Fieldhouse. Since then I have become an avid hunter and responsibly enjoyed a variety of shooting sports.

    I am a proud NRA-Life member, 2nd Amendment activist, and believe that every woman ought to have the opportunity to learn how to safely handle and shoot a firearm just as I did. The ability of women to defend their own lives and the lives of their loved ones is true female empowerment.

    It is my hope as a KU alumna that my alma mater will sever all ties with Mr. Guth.

    • KUHawk

      While Prof. Guth’s statement may be deplorable, his right to say it is vital. Let’s hope the NRA will support the First Amendment with the same vigor it does the Second

  • Mike Lordner

    From the yesterday’s Kansas article on this,
    “‘it’s going to be a great teaching moment,” Guth said. “I can sure tell people I know about the power of social media.’”


  • bonnieblue2A

    Campus Reform has verified that this associate professor, Mr. Guth, was publicly censured by the. University October 10, 2010 for: “unprofessional, threatening, and abusive behavior towards another faculty.”

    This folks is a pattern and not an isolated incident. Two red flags of which we know about concerning Mr. Guth at KU.

  • rennyangel2

    “Administrative leave” is a euphemism for “paid vacation.” Dismiss the “professor” for lack of ethical judgment and integrity needed to teach students who are dedicating themselves to teaching.

  • Todd Thummel

    I was shocked at the outrageous comments by the KU journalism professor.
    But I was more shocked that there are still journalism professors at KU.
    Now, that’s outrageous!

    I mean, have you seen the job prospects for young people with a
    “journalism” degree.

    Have these profs never heard of the internet?

    Any jackass with a laptop in Starbucks in now considered a “journalist”, so what’s the point?
    It’s over. Done.
    Those poor kids in the KU Journalism department should switch to History, pronto. That way they will be able to place their impending unemployment in a broader historical context.

    Plus the parties are better.

  • Mike Lordner

    I looked up what his research has been and he’s studied Public Relations. So, he is basically studying how the propaganda is well delivered to the public. Very typical, not even interesting background anymore. The university does not teach what the general public associate with the term “journalism” anymore. They learn the production of video and the publication. Both of them can be done without going to school for 4 years by yourself or with a group of few friends. People even make a film now with the video editing software readily available as well as the affordable high quality camera. Personal websites and blogs are ubiquitous.