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Drexel Professor Resigns After Controversial Tweets

He had been on leave since October after a series of tweets about the shooting massacre in Las Vegas

A Drexel University professor who received threats of violence and death after a series of Tweets -- and whom Fox News called "perhaps the most consistently controversial figure in higher education this year" -- has resigned from the Philadelphia university.

Associate professor George Ciccariello-Maher wrote on Twitter that this was "not a decision I take lightly."

But, he said, "nearly a year" of harassment and threats of violence, which he said came from "right-wing, white supremacist media outlets and internet mobs," had made staying at Drexel unsustainable.

He said he would deepen his research, writing "and my political organizing in the service of those movements most capable of confronting the urgent tasks of the present."

Ciccariello-Maher had been on leave since October. He said in an op-ed piece published in The Washington Post that the university placed him on leave after a series of tweets about the shooting massacre at a Las Vegas country music festival prompted death threats.

The political science and global studies professor had posted a tweet reading, "It's the white supremacist patriarchy, stupid." That tweet was followed by a series of similar statements.

The professor wrote in the op-ed that threats came in after conservative media outlets highlighted his tweets. The university said the decision was necessary to ensure campus safety.

It wasn't the first time that Ciccariello-Maher has come under fire for his tweets, including one about "trying not to vomit" after seeing a soldier get a first-class seat on a plane and a "White Genocide" Christmas tweet.

A statement from Drexel Thursday praised his work.

"Drexel University has accepted his resignation and recognizes the significant scholarly contributions that Professor Ciccariello-Maher has made to the field of political thought and his service to the Drexel University community as an outstanding classroom teacher," the university said in a statement.

A Drexel University associate professor George Ciccariello-Maherr is calling the decision to place him on leave over a series of tweets a threat to free speech and the wrong message to send. Since the tweets, the professor has been getting death threats and the university administrators say they placed him on leave as a safety precaution.
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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