Professor on paid leave during blog post investigation

MISSOULA – A University of Montana computer science professor has been put on paid leave as the university investigates now-deleted blog posts that slander women, Muslims and LGBTQ people, the university said on Tuesday .

The Montana Kaimin Student Newspaper was the first to report blog posts by Full Associate Professor Rob Smith in which he said that women start to “lose value” after the age of 16, that loyal Muslims are not peaceful, and that child sex trafficking and pedophilia are motivated by the “sins” of accepting queer and transgender people.

His blog is captioned: “Explaining Prophecies and Scriptures to Anyone Who Desires to Hear Them.

MU President Seth Bodnar on Monday announced an investigation, calling Smith’s views “homophobic and misogynistic.”

“Building a culture of respect, empowerment and fairness is at the core of our mission at UM and is personally important to me,” said Bodnar.

After Kaimin’s story was posted on Monday, students began to push through social media to demand Smith’s dismissal. Smith was put on paid administrative leave Monday evening pending the results of the investigation, under the university’s collective agreement with the faculty, UM spokesman Dave Kuntz said. Missoulian.

“This status could change at the end of the university’s investigation,” he said.

Smith will not be on campus during his leave and another instructor will be teaching his classes, Kuntz said on Tuesday.

Smith started his “Upward Thought” blog in 2013. Many posts were deleted, but the Kaimins uploaded some and posted them along with their story.

In January 2019, Smith wrote that a man’s worth “continues to increase over time,” in terms of income and wisdom, but “the longer a woman waits to get married, the less currency she has to attract one. man of value ”.

In November 2020, Smith wrote that “a young woman should know everything she needs to know to be a good wife and mother and seek that out as soon as possible.”

The post also calls it a “misconception” that “girls should be given the same education as boys”, suggesting that this may delay a woman from starting a family until she is in her thirties when her “capacity is reached. to qualify for a good husband and to learn what it takes to be a good wife and mother is greatly reduced.

In a July 2020 article, Smith wrote: “You can’t be surprised by sex trafficking when you think that a 6 year old can choose to be a boy or a girl or a 14 year old girl. may decide to have an abortion. “

On September 29, Smith deleted his previous posts and wrote that his blog was a way for him to “be able to think out loud” and “to hear comments from others.”

“We live in a world of increasingly unequal tolerance for ideas that differ from what we already believe,” he wrote in his blog.

Smith did not immediately respond to a phone message asking for comment left on Tuesday at software company Prime Labs Inc., of which Smith is CEO.

Last week the the dean and associate dean of the university’s law faculty have resigned after the students complained, the administrators did not take the reports of sexual harassment and assault seriously.


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