OGDEN — Weber State University criminal justice studies professor Scott Senjo has rescinded his resignation from the university which was tendered earlier this month after he posted tweets that university officials described as “abhorrent” and inconsistent with university values.
Following the death of George Floyd on May 25, Senjo posted messages on his personal Twitter account that Weber State officials said “promoted violence and caused safety concerns.”
Weber State administrators confirmed Tuesday that Senjo, who has worked for the university for 20 years, had rescinded his resignation.
According to university spokeswoman Allison Barlow Hess, Senjo had five business days to rescind his resignation “as outlined in our policies and procedures manual.”
Now that he has withdrawn his resignation, Senjo is on leave and remains out of the classroom while the university conducts a review of his tweets on university operations, Hess said.
In an email to the university community, Weber State President Brad Mortensen wrote that the 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.”
Some 2,445 people signed an online petition calling for Senjo’s ouster.
Mortensen acknowledged the “fear, disruption, and threat to personal safety that many have shared. Language that promotes violence, diminishes individuals or makes people feel unsafe undermines our desire to create a diverse and inclusive environment where all feel welcome. Given this new information, I want to remind you of the resources we have on campus to help us all to feel Safe@Weber.”
He continued: “We also value due process and an individual’s right to freedom of expression for all members of our community whether or not we agree with perspectives they share. These values are not intended to conflict; however, in this instance, it certainly feels that they do for many members of our community, and I want you to know that we hear you.”
Senjo, in responding to a tweet by Wall Street Journal reporter Tyler Blint-Welsh, who tweeted his ankle was injured and glasses knocked off when he was reportedly struck in the face by New York City police multiple times with riot shields despite wearing a press credential and holding his hands up, tweeted:
“Excellent. If I was the cop, you wouldn’t be able to tweet.”
In another tweet, @ProfSenjo referred to protesters vandalizing the CNN building in Atlanta, saying: “Nothing about this makes me happy but there’s this tiny sense of rightness in the burning of the CNN headquarters.”
Still another addressed a widely viewed video of New York Police Department vehicles that plowed into a crowd of protesters.
The tweet said: “That’s not how I would have driven the car into the crowd.”
When Senjo resigned on June 3, he noted in an email to the head of his department, “I studied the situation and the public fury is too great. I have to resign immediately. There’s no other option.”
In a statement, the university said it did not ask for his resignation. But in a subsequent email to media outlets, Senjo said he was ordered to resign his position due to his “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. I made those tweets in the oftentimes vulgar, extreme back-and-forth that can occur on Twitter and they were simply wrong. I apologize for my irresponsible behavior and resign my position, effective immediately.”
Senjo could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.