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Weber State professor rescinds resignation after controversial tweets

Posted at 11:39 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 01:39:04-04

OGDEN, Utah — A Weber State University professor will no longer resign following a series of tweets that promoted violence during protests.

Scott Senjo, a criminal justice professor, tendered his resignation on June 3 following the tweets, which he posted amid nationwide and local protests the weekend of May 30-31.

Senjo's tweets included responding "That's not how I would have driven the car into the crowd" to a tweet about police in New York driving into a group of protesters, replying "Excellent. If I was the cop, you wouldn't be able to tweet" to a journalist claiming he was assaulted by police, and other violent or racially-charged tweets.

On Tuesday, the university announced Senjo had rescinded his resignation. It was not clear when he rescinded it, but the university stated that its policy allows tenured faculty members to do so within five business days.

"With his resignation withdrawn, professor Senjo returns to being on leave, while Weber State conducts a review of the impact of his Tweets on university operations. The sentiments expressed in his Tweets are abhorrent, and the university condemns them," a university spokesperson wrote to FOX 13.

WSU President Brad L. Mortensen sent an email to faculty, staff and students on Tuesday as well, saying in part:

"I acknowledge the fear, disruption, and threat to personal safety that many have shared. Language that promotes violence, diminishes individuals or makes people feel unsafe undermines our desire to create a diverse and inclusive environment where all feel welcome... We also value due process and an individual’s right to freedom of expression for all members of our community whether or not we agree with perspectives they share. These values are not intended to conflict; however, in this instance, it certainly feels that they do for many members of our community, and I want you to know that we hear you... We cannot, and should not shy away from difficult discussions. I remain committed to improving our campus culture and our conduct by making Weber State a place where everyone truly feels valued, supported and included."

Mortensen stated that as Senjo's case "continues to evolve over time, we will not be updating individuals at every stage," but added that he would "continue to provide updates regarding our inclusion efforts to our WSU family in future communications and town halls."