Students, alumni call on UNCW to fire professor over controversial tweets

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A UNCW professor newest tweets have people outraged. The professor has been criticized about his social media posts before, but now student and even alumni are calling on the school to take action.

Current and former students, and alumni are speaking out and calling on UNCW to fire Criminology Professor Mike Adams.

“If I had known about the behavior, I don’t think I would’ve chosen UNCW,” senior Elisha Alston said.

This isn’t the first time Adams has rocked the boat with his tweets, but the concerns are resurfacing. The tenured professor has taken UNCW to court and won multiple times on rights to free speech.

“There’s somebody like that roaming around that does truly have these beliefs. It’s truly preposterous,” former student Angela Cotton said. “Overall, just very appalling. It was very devastating especially with me being a formerly black student at UNCW.”

Adams recent controversial tweets gained a lot of attention, leaving students, alumni and even faculty outraged. The community argues his tweets are laced with racism, sexism, homophobia and other offensive content.

“As a person of color and a black man, I’ve heard enough statements and enough words, and the ball is is UNCW’s court now,” Alston said. “I think it’s time for them to take action and prove to us that they do stand with the minority students.”

The Department of Sociology and Criminology at UNCW released a statement, condemning the tweets and statements made by one of its own professors. The statement reads as follows:

“As members of the faculty in the department of Sociology and Criminology at UNCW, we issue this public statement to make clear our position regarding the vitriolic writings of Mike Adams. We view his current and past statements that are steeped in racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and sexism, as repugnant and not in keeping with the values of our department. As educators, we deplore actions taken by any persons that only serve to denigrate and demean members of our communities. As sociologists and criminologists, we are concerned by the disconnect between his most recent language and the empirical research on race, racism, and the criminal justice system. It is concerning to us that a person in a position to teach aspects of the criminal justice system, is not exposing systemic racism and inequalities, but rather is sustaining and reinforcing them. This is not what students deserve. This goes against the very fabric of decency, compassion, and community. This is not who we are.

We colleagues in the department of Sociology and Criminology value the learning environment and recognize that forms of harm, whether physical or emotional, have no place here. In keeping with the Seahawk Respect Compact, we affirm the dignity of all persons, promote free and equal exchange of thoughts and opinions within a climate of civility and mutual respect, and seek to eliminate prejudice and discrimination. His behavior has not been in keeping with this compact. We do not see this matter as having yet been resolved in a manner consistent with what UNCW students, faculty, staff, as well as the larger community deserve. We stand solidly with all those who have expressed outrage and disgust at the racist, vile writings of a member of our department.”

Last week, UNCW called Adams’ tweets vile and inexcusable. The university gave an update Saturday:

“We are listening to the outrage being expressed regarding the vile and inexcusable comments made by a UNCW faculty member. However, we are not just listening; we can confirm we are very carefully and assertively reviewing our options in terms of how to proceed. We are not able to comment further at this time, as this is a personnel matter.”

Cotton says the university’s statements are not enough though, and would like to see more action taken.

“I was planning on going back to finish my degree, but if UNCW is going to continue posting their very, very, very weak and watered down responses, I would not want to continue there,” she said.

WWAY has reached out to Adams for comment, but has not heard back yet.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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