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Controversial Weber State professor Scott Senjo rescinds resignation

By Patrick Carr Standard-Examiner - | Jun 16, 2020

Weber State University confirmed in an email Tuesday that Department of Criminal Justice professor Scott Senjo has rescinded his resignation.

Senjo has been under fire recently for a series of threatening tweets about nationwide protests about race and police use of force. One of the tweets applauded damage done by rioters to CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta.

Senjo resigned on June 3, but under university policy “a tenured faculty member has five business days to rescind a resignation.” University spokesperson Allison Barlow Hess confirmed to the Standard-Examiner on Tuesday that Senjo had rescinded his resignation.

“With his resignation withdrawn, professor Senjo returns to being on leave, while Weber State conducts a review of the impact of his Tweets on university operations. The sentiments expressed in his Tweets are abhorrent, and the university condemns them. This remains an ongoing personnel matter, and the university cannot comment further,” a university statement sent to the Standard-Examiner reads.

In an email sent earlier Tuesday and addressed to WSU faculty, staff and students, President Brad Mortensen wrote that Senjo remains out of the classroom while the university’s review is ongoing.

“I recognize that this development will confuse and upset many members of our greater campus community, and understandably so. Because this case continues to evolve over time, we will not be updating individuals at every stage. The sentiment in those tweets is abhorrent, and we strongly condemn it,” Mortensen’s email reads, in part.

Senjo previously spoke with the Standard-Examiner when his tweets attracted negative attention.

“Those are my tweets but I don’t stand by them and will have to suffer the consequences of my recklessness,” Senjo said in an email to the Standard-Examiner. “I made those tweets in the sordid atmosphere of Twitter knife fights where sarcastic put downs and tasteless humor are often the norm. I failed to respect my role as a college professor in the hyper-emotional atmosphere of the recent police brutality protests. I apologize for my Twitter contributions. In the aggregate, they reflect a great deal of ugliness.”

Senjo also told the Standard-Examiner he was asked to resign by the school and agreed to do so, effective immediately. The professor said he had been engaged in “irresponsible tweeting activity over the last several months.”

“I agree that my tweets were far beyond the realm of acceptable university policy as well as acceptable social norms,” he said.

The university released a statement earlier in the month, saying Senjo had been placed on paid leave June 2 but was not asked to resign.

According to that statement, Senjo sent an email to his department chair and college dean on June 3, saying, “I studied the situation and the public fury is too great. I have to resign immediately. There’s no other option.”

Reporter Mitch Shaw contributed to this story.

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