TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Times reports that the University of Tampa has rescinded its dismissal of visiting sociology professor Kenneth Storey and allowed him to resign instead.
A nonprofit faculty organization based in Washington, D.C. intervened on the professor's behalf . The American Association of University Professors (AUSA) wrote a public letter demanding that the university immediately reinstate the professor because it said,"the University of Tampa failed to give Professor Storey due process when it fired him for an ill-advised tweet."
Professor Storey was fired for a tweet suggesting that the devastation of Hurricane Harvey was "instant karma" for the red state of Texas.
The university initially sought to distance itself from the professor with a public condemnation, but online outrage fueled by social media and conservative news sites motivated alumni and university parents to leave comments on UT's social media pages.
“What is particularly concerning about the university is not that they failed to defend him, but that they in fact fired him,” Hans-Joerg Tiede, associate secretary of AUSA said. “That’s much worse. We don’t expect that a university would defend whatever a faculty member says, but they certainly should defend his or her right to say it.”
Today, the University of Tampa released this statement, "Through ongoing discussions with Mr. Storey, the University of Tampa has rescinded his dismissal and accepted his resignation from the University."
Afterward, Storey said that he does not plan to pursue legal action against the school.