RPI prof dismissed after students object to social media posts
Jun 14, 2020 6:15 am
Rachel Silberstein is reporting for the Times Union a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute engineering professor has been been fired after students filed bias complaints about his inflammatory social media activity. Students in the last week compiled a record of objectionable tweets, retweets, Twitter "likes" and Facebook posts by Mohamed Aboul-Seoud. The posts were described as "sexist, racist, Islamophobic, and transphobic" or promoting of far-right conspiracy theories. Aboul-Seoud has since made his social media accounts private, but he privately confirmed his termination, tweeting to a supporter, "They just terminated me after 20+ years with no complaints of discrimination from any student during that period. Welcome to the USSA.” An RPI spokesperson said he could not comment on specific personnel matters. An RPI student, requesting anonymity, said in an email, "For us students, this isn’t an issue of politics or restricting free speech; his presence behind the keyboard is one of overt hostility toward those of different religions, ethnicities, gender and sexual orientations. All while being in a position of power at a respected institution over just these groups." Some students were surprised by his social media activity, saying he had not shared those views in class except of the occasional reference to his support for President Donald Trump, and not everyone agreed that he should be fired for his tweets. Of late, students at the Troy campus have been raising concerns on social media about the racism and aggression minority students face at the school, such as a noose that was placed on campus in 2018. School officials have not directly addressed the students' social media posts. Read the full story in the Times Union.