Douglas Muir, an executive lecturer in the Engineering School and the Darden School who recently commented on Facebook that the Black Lives Matter movement “is the biggest rasist organisation [sic] since the clan [sic],” has “agreed to take leave” from the Engineering School, according to a letter from Engineering Dean Craig H. Benson and Engineering associate dean for Diversity and Inclusion John Gates.
“While free speech and open discussion are fundamental principles of our nation and the University, Mr. Muir’s comment was entirely inappropriate,” the letter read. “U.Va. Engineering does not condone actions that undermine our values, dedication to diversity and educational mission. Our faculty and staff are responsible for upholding our values and demonstrating them to students and the community.”
Muir is expected to release his own statement regarding the incident.
While Muir will be taking leave from the Engineering School, he is not teaching at Darden "presently or the remainder of 2016," rendering teaching leave inapplicable, Darden Dean Scott Beardsley said in an email statement.
The University’s Executive Vice President and Provost Tom Katsouleas issued a statement earlier today condemning Muir’s remark.
“The University of Virginia stands firmly against racism and social injustice of any kind,” he said.
Katsouleas said the University does not aim to hinder academic freedom, “but statements such as Mr. Muir’s do not foster intellectual exploration, nor do they encourage the voices of others.”