Professors' Group Alarmed By Ken Storey Firing

TAMPA (970 WFLA) -- A college faculty association is calling on the University of Tampa to re-hire the visiting professor it fired, over a deleted tweet claiming Hurricane Harvey is "karma" for voting Republican.

The American Association of University Professors says it's "alarmed" by the news of Kenneth Storey's dismissal. It's been in contact with Storey, who tells them he was let go with a letter and wasn't allowed a hearing.

The AAUP says Storey should have gotten due process and that Storey's firing is an issue of academic freedom. "Faculty members have the right to speak or write... free from institutional censorship or discipline", the AAUP says in a statement. 

AAUP says the university should file for a hearing if it thinks Storey's comments make him unfit for his job. It says the University of Tampa faculty handbook endorses AAUP policies in these matters. 

The association's associate secretary, Hans-Joerg Tiede,  wrote the letter to U-T. He singled out "Campus Reform" and other websites that have called attention to outrageous comments, by Storey and other professors. "Websites such as Campus Reform... go out to seek specifically, statements by faculty members and to publicize those... and often generate calls for the faculty member to be dismissed... (and) in some cases, death threats," Tiede said.

UPDATE: A University of Tampa spokesman says the university has received the AAUP's letter and is preparing a response. 

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