President's Message to Campus - Nov. 23, 2020
Last week the University learned of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs made on Twitter that appear to be posted by Thomas Brennan, an assistant physical science professor in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education. Individually and collectively we were shocked and outraged by these tweets. They are extremely offensive and run counter to the values of our University and our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Our students, faculty, staff and members of the community are upset and offended by these comments, and they should be.
As reported Dr. Brennan disrupted a College of Arts, Sciences and Education Zoom meeting last August. At this he expressed via video and chat that COVID-19 death rates in the United States were exaggerated, and the pandemic and rioting were leftist stunts. These comments both surprised and offended those attending the meeting. Dean Williams addressed this in a message to the College’s faculty and staff, and disciplined Dr. Brennan.
On Thursday, Dr. Brennan was placed on administrative leave and an investigation is underway. Discipline involving a tenured faculty member is outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the University and the Ferris Faculty Association.
Our University was founded on the concept that education is for all of the people all of the time, that all people are welcome here. We strongly reject these statements, condemn them and will not tolerate them. We have worked diligently to become a more diverse university, and these statements demonstrate vividly how one person can set back the work of many. I call on our University community to come together, to discuss these challenges and to begin to repair the damage from these actions.
David L. Eisler, president