IU professor responds to tweet criticism after calls for resignation

Data pix.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Eric Rasmusen responded to backlash over one of his tweets after campus officials called his views racist, sexist and homophobic.

There are now mounting calls for his resignation.

Rasmusen is a Professor of Business Economics IU Bloomington. On November 7, he shared an article on Twitter titled, "Are Women Destroying Academia? Probably." He pulled a line from the article saying "“geniuses are overwhelmingly male because they combine outlier high IQ with moderately low Agreeableness and moderately low Conscientiousness.”

The tweet spurred hundreds of comments. Rasmusen said he was just sharing an interesting thought.

"I think I should be able to quote from an article without saying I agree with everything in the article," he said.

The tenured professor said he uses Twitter to keep track of interesting articles. The publication he retweeted says it is a collection of controversial perspectives largely excluded from the American Mainstream Media.

"Did you agree with the article," said FOX59's Kelly Reinke.

"I can't say that because I have not looked back at it. I've been so busy to see what was in it," said Rasmusen.

In a letter to the Kelley School of Business community, IU Provost Lauren Robel did not mince words. She noted other controversial social media posts from Rasmusen over the years. She called his views racist, sexist and homophobic.

Robel also said Rasmusen believes women do not belong in the workplace, gay men should not be permitted in academia, and black students are generally unqualified for attendance at elite institutions.

Rasmusen said her letter is not true.

"Academic freedom should protect me even if I believed all the things the provost attributed to me," he said.

Chuck Carney, spokesperson for Indiana University, said they can not fire Rasmusen because of his First Amendment rights. There are already messages on campus calling for just that.

"This is not in keeping with the values of Indiana University and the vast majority of people here at IU," said Carney.

Several students thought Rasmusen's tweet was offensive and inappropriate.

"I would transfer out of the class personally. There's no way I would stay in the class," said Jensen Hansen, a senior.

"As a student, it would be hard to really understand his beliefs and some of the stuff he says," said Matthew Noskin, a senior.

Indiana University said it is making changes in Rasmusen's classroom to create a double-blind system on assignments that would hopefully prevent bias in grading. In addition, no student is forced to take his class.
Rasmusen does not believe students should be concerned about bias.
"Not at all. I think less in mine, than in most. I try to bend over backwards if students disagree with me politically," he said.
As for his tweet, he said he supports women in academia. His wife has a doctorate and his daughter might become a Philosophy professor.

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