Georgetown University Associate Professor Christine Fair is now on “research leave” after making incendiary statements about Republican politicians on her blog as well as on social media.
Fair entered the spotlight after Campus Reform reported on her profanity-laden tweets in which she suggested that white GOP senators "deserved miserable deaths while feminists laugh." Fair also publicly attacked Campus Reform correspondents on her blog, Tenacious Hellpussy, after being contacted for a statement.
“This has been a challenging moment for our community, as we balance our unwavering commitment to free speech and expression with the need to ensure civil and respectful discourse,” Joel Hellman, Dean of the Walsh School of Foreign Service, wrote in an email to students Friday.
"We can and do strongly condemn the use of violent imagery, profanity, and insensitive labeling of individuals based on gender, ethnicity or political affiliation in any form of discourse. Such expressions go against our core values," he added.
“Earlier today, I spoke with Professor Fair. To prevent further disruption to her students and out of an abundance of caution for the security of our community, we have mutually agreed for Professor Fair to go on research leave effective immediately. Professor Fair will accelerate previously scheduled international research travel.”
Hellman said that "out of an abundance of caution for the security of our community," Georgetown University and the professor mutually agreed that she would go on "research leave effective immediately."
"Professor Fair will accelerate previously scheduled international research travel," Hellman also said in the statement.
“It’s become clear that incivility begets incivility. While we have received many legitimate concerns from members of our community and beyond regarding the social media posts Professor Fair has made in her personal capacity,” Hellman continued, adding that the university has also received “provocative and threatening” statements that are being addressed by the Georgetown “Threat Assessment Team” and police department.
“This has been an emotional time, and I hope you will join me in thanking those at the front lines for handling their responsibilities with professionalism, tact, and patience,” Hellman concluded.
“I want to reiterate a message that I make to every entering class at [the School of Foreign Service]: while we teach diplomacy as a subject, we expect diplomacy as a community.”
Just minutes before Hellman's email to students, Georgetown President John DeGioia also sent an email to students in which he condemned Fair's recent conduct, but without naming her.
Georgetown University student Amelia Irvine responded to the college's decision in a statement to Campus Reform.
“Though President DeGioia should have condemned Professor Fair by name in his statement, this outcome truly seems fair to all parties. Professor Fair will certainly benefit from time outside the United States—and might benefit from some time away from Twitter as well," Irvine said.